Planet Rugby

Deans takes Japanese coaching job

22nd April 2014 07:30

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Robbie Deans

Robbie Deans: Starts his new job on May 1

Former Wallabies boss Robbie Deans will become the head coach of Japan's Top League and national champions Panasonic Wild Knights on May 1, the club said on Tuesday.

Deans, who has also coached the Christchurch-based Crusaders and served as an All Blacks assistant coach, will take over from Norifumi Nakajima, who is transferring to another part of the giant electronics firm.

Nakajima spent three seasons in charge at Panasonic, leading the club to the double honour in his final season.

54-year-old Deans parted company with the Australian Rugby Union after the Wallabies lost the British and Irish Lions test series 2-1 last June.

He has maintained a good relationship with Panasonic on an informal basis for nearly 10 years, since he began coaching the Crusaders, the club's spokesman Seigo Ikeda said.

"He has given us advice every year," explained.

The terms of his contract with the Top League side were not made known.

"I am very glad that I can continue the relationship this way," Deans said in a Japanese-language statement.

"I have enjoyed building a strong team with Panasonic players, staff and officials and I enjoyed watching Panasonic play," he said.

"I am looking forward to making the team better still in this fine environment this season," Deans said. "We want to move further ahead."

Deans coached the Wallabies for six years from 2008, winning 43 times, losing 29 and drawing twice. Australia finished third in the 2011 rugby World Cup.

As a player, he represented Canterbury and played 19 matches for the All Blacks, including five Tests.

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