Deans pinning hopes on Super Rugby

Sat, 16 Feb 2013 11:26
Large andy irvine   robbie deans Large deans claps630 Large robbie deans wallaby traini

Wallaby coach Robbie Deans hopes Super Rugby will provide a proper springboard for his players before the arrival of the B&I Lions in June.

With no internationals in which to hone his players before the arrival of the British and Irish Lions in June, Wallaby coach Robbie Deans is hoping the Super Rugby season will provide a proper springboard for his players.

The Wallabies lost the first Test of the season in 2011 and 2012 to Samoa and Scotland respectively and Deans knows he cannot afford to let the opening Test of the three-match series in Brisbane slip in similar fashion.

The Super Rugby season kicked off on Friday with the Melbourne Rebels defeating the Western Force 30-23 and the Brumbies beating the Reds 24-6.

The Reds, who won the title in 2011, were the only Australian team to reach the play-offs last year. They finished third under the new tri-conference system, but they actually came sixth on overall competition points (58).

The Brumbies (58) were seventh, while the Waratahs (35), Rebels (32) and Force (27) finished 11th, 13th and 14th respectively. South Africa had three teams in the top six and New Zealand two.

Deans knows all about the quality of competition in Super Rugby having led the Crusaders to a record five titles before taking over as head coach to the Wallabies.

"We didn't succeed the way we would have liked in Super Rugby last season. But they are all coming into the new competition with genuine expectation, and rightly so. I think there is any number of them who can get to the business end," said Deans.

"They've had a lot of time together and they look refreshed. They have recharged and they are excited about what's coming.

"Clearly with two new franchises in recent times we've spread the playing group. That has created a young profile and we've suffered a little bit off the back of that because we lack training age, but we're coming through that now.

"I think we'll start to see that this year in Super Rugby. Ideally, every franchise will thrive and we'll all get the benefit of it."

Each of the five franchises will also get a shot at Warren Gatland's Lions side in June, starting with the Force in Perth on June 5. Those fixtures will expose a lot of Australia's top players to international competition.

"The good thing is a lot of players will get access to the Lions through the franchises and the Tests - a large number of players will get to play an international," said Deans.

"You look at any Lions series, and in particular Lions series where provincial and state games are involved, and players emerge from that. They respond to that opportunity.

"I've got no doubt there will be players who will emerge this year. Some will get an opportunity who wouldn't ordinarily have got an opportunity."

Source: lionsrugby.com

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 30 September 2016
Golden Lions v Sharks 15h00 Johannesburg
EP Kings v Pumas 16h00 Nelspruit
Western Province v Boland 17h10 Cape Town
Dragons v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Rodney Parade
Connacht v Edinburgh 18h35 Sportsground
Bristol v Saracens 18h45 Ashton Gate
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 01 October 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Griquas 12h00 Bloemfontein
Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers 13h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Munster v Zebre 16h00 Thomond Park
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Stadio Monigo
Sun, 02 October 2016
Argentina v New Zealand 22h10 Ascoli Piceno
Wasps v Harlequins 13h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Sixways
Tue, 04 October 2016
Edinburgh v Ulster 19h35 BT Murrayfield
B&I LIONS
MORE LOGS