17 Oct 2011

Deans says players will be all the better for World Cup experience

6:40 pm on 17 October 2011

The Wallabies coach Robbie Deans believes his players will learn from their unsuccessful rugby World Cup campaign and is looking forward to the day when the core of his squad returns to win the trophy.

The Wallabies never really got into their stride at what was a first World Cup for many of the players and were overwhelmed by an experienced New Zealand side in the semi-final on Sunday.

Deans says he's thoroughly enjoyed working with the side despite not reaching their goal of winning a third World Cup for Australia.

Deans led the Wallabies to a first Tri-Nations title in a decade earlier in the season and before the World Cup signed a contract extension until the end of 2013.

One of the players who is likely to have at least another World Cup in him, if he chooses to remain playing rugby union, is 23-year-old first five Quade Cooper.

Deans says Cooper, who had a very poor game against the All Blacks on Sunday, had taken a lot of unwarranted criticism during the tournament but he did not think it had affected the New Zealand-born players performances.