The former Wallabies captain Stirling Mortlock says it's too late to sack embattled test rugby coach Robbie Deans with the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia looming next year.
The Wallabies were thrashed by France 33-6 in their opening match of a four-Test European tour and play England at Twickenham this weekend.
Mortlock says if the Australian Rugby Union wanted to replace Deans, they should have already done it.
Deans overtook Bob Dwyer as the most-capped Wallabies coach with the French game (68 tests) and signed a two-year extension before the 2011 World Cup despite having won only 39 of his 68 tests in charge.
Mortlock says sacking Deans at this stage would be detrimental to the team when it's building towards the Lions tour.