Is Robbie Deans out of his depth at international level?
Australian broadcaster and former Wallabies coach Alan Jones has blasted Robbie Deans, saying his side would be better off if he would "shut up" and "stay at home".
In an interview on LiveSport this morning, Jones said the Wallabies are badly coached and the whole system around the national rugby union side is a failure.
"I always anticipated this would happen and sometimes you're better off being not coached than badly coached."
Jones, who coached the last Wallabies side to win a test series in New Zealand in 1986, did not hold back in his criticism of Deans and said he was not cut out to be an international coach.
"I think he's out of his depth. Some people are provincial coaches and that's fine, on the other hand when he coached Canterbury and had most of the All Blacks in the side, Canterbury haven't fallen apart since Robbie Deans left. You can see quite clearly that there was more to it than just the bloke in charge."
Jones said the chopping and changing within the starting 15 meant combinations had no time to gel.
"At this level, he's not up to it. The structure is wrong. Every week it's a different combination. Teams are very hard things to put together, you've got to work very hard on combinations.
"You could walk down the main street of Sydney and no one could tell you who the Australian team is, it changes every week.
The current breakfast show radio host also suggested the players were not happy with Deans as their mentor.
"Many of the boys in the Australian team believe the preoccupation is with trying to avoid defeat rather than trying to secure victory. You can't win a game of football without the football, what do we do? We kick it away. We say to New Zealand we can't use it, you have a go at using it.
"It's pretty simple, the Australian team is badly coached, there's no other way of putting it. They're over-ridden with instructions that are not conducive to succeeding."
Asides from his coaching ability, Jones also labelled the decision to hire a New Zealander to coach the Australian side as "ridiculous"
He said the treatment of "special" players Quade Cooper and Kurtley Beale had been appalling and there has been too much focus on their faults rather than their unique skills.
"There is no attacking player in the All Blacks side better than Quade Cooper or Kurtley Beale, but what do we keep telling everybody? You can't have Beale he can't tackle, or Quade Cooper's a worry because he can't tackle.
"Any mug can tackle, only really special players can play with the football like Mark Ella and Quade Cooper and Kurtley Beale. We've got the cattle no problem but it's how you use them and that's the big challenge of coaching."
Jones praised New Zealand's ability to turn out good coaches, and highlighted the part Wayne Smith has played in many Kiwi teams' success.
His criticism wasn't only restricted to Deans and he said Australian sport in general was "in crisis" because of poor administration. "Fish stinks from the top," he added.
Deans was made aware of Jones' criticism after the Wallabies completed their final training session in Sydney today before flying to Auckland but brushed it aside.
"I don't have a reaction to it," he said.
"It's part of the territory."
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- Fairfax Media
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