Robbie Deans to help Sheens with Kangaroos
Robbie Deans will try to help the Kangaroos snatch the Rugby League World Cup away from the Kiwis later this year.
The former All Black turned Wallabies coach has a good relationship with Kangaroos coach, Tim Sheens, and will help him with planning for the tournament, which starts in October.
Despite being a New Zealander, Deans says he doesn’t believe it’s an issue to help end the Kiwis’ reign as world champions in the 13-man code.
"It's not a problem at all, I'm always happy to help Tim," he told Brisbane’s Courier Mail.
"Our first conversation was lengthy, we sat down and exchanged ideas and challenged each other for four hours. It was great. It is always stimulating talking to someone like Tim, who brings a different perspective.
"The trip they have to the UK is something we do often in rugby, and they (the Kangaroos) will spend a bit of time in Cardiff and Limerick, which are venues I'm familiar with.
"He was tapping into the benefit of our experience I guess . . . hopefully I offered some value."
Sheens says there is mutual admiration between the two coaches and he revealed he came close to joining the Crusaders coaching team in 2002.
"Robbie was coaching the Crusaders and they were going to give me a job," Sheens said.
"That's where it started, I introduced myself to him then. It was by coincidence that the Tigers rang me, otherwise I would have been working for the New Zealand Rugby Union.
"The Wallabies will be in England this year just before us, so we will try and organise a time for the two teams to catch up. We are on a common cause, trying to win some trophies back.
"Our World Cup trip is twice as long as our Four Nations tour last year, so I wanted to get some perspectives from Robbie given he has experiences at places like Cardiff and Limerick.
"He has a lot of expectations on him. I admire the way he handles it."
Meanwhile, another Australian newspaper has revealed that anti doping agents swooped on the Kiwis team in Canberra on Tuesday carrying out tests on between eight and 10 players.
The raid was carried out by Drug Free Sport New Zealand and came as a surprise to the players and management.
The Kangaroos seemed to have escaped similar heavy handed action from the Australian Sport Anti Doping Authority.
Also, Kangaroos play maker Johnathan Thurston has revealed he came close to choosing to play for the Kiwis instead of Australia.
Thurston’s father was born in New Zealand and in 2004 he was approached by goal kicking coach Darryl Halligan, who asked him to play for the Kiwis.
"I spoke to my family, Mum and Dad, and I did have to consider it," Thurston said.
"Darryl Halligan called me because Dad was a Kiwi. I was honoured someone like him would ask me. But in the end I decided to stay and pursue the dream of playing for Australia."