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

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Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
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Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
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CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
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Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
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Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
UWC v Rhodes 88 | 8
TUT v WSU 13 | 17
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 20 | 15
Sun, 19 February 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 46 | 31
Sale Sharks v Wasps 34 | 28
Sat, 18 February 2017
Connacht v Dragons 14 | 9
Ospreys v Munster 23 | 25
Leicester Tigers v Bristol 50 | 17
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 37 | 17
Bath v Harlequins 22 | 12
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