9 Jul 2013

Deans no longer Wallabies coach

11:24 am on 9 July 2013

Robbie Deans has stepped down as coach of the Australian rugby team.

Conjecture's been raging since the British and Irish Lions series loss in the Sydney decider that the Cantabrian Deans will be replaced by Queensland's Ewen McKenzie, and now it seems he's resigned before he was sacked.

Deans coached the national team in a record 74 test matches since being appointed in December 2007, but the ARU finally lost patience with the New Zealander after Saturday night's 41-16 series-deciding loss to the British and Irish Lions.

Deans advised ARU chief executive Bill Pulver late on Monday of his decision to stand down.

The former All Black and most successful Super Rugby coach in history broke new ground when he became the first non-Australian to land the country's most coveted coaching position.

His contract was extended for two years in 2011, but it's understood that the Australian Rugby Union has released Deans from his contract six months early.

McKenzie and Brumbies coach Jake White were seen as the two likely successors to Deans, but it is believed the nod has gone to McKenzie.

The former Waratahs and Reds coach announced in March he would quit his post as Reds coaching director at the end of the season, saying he had a desire for a new coaching role involving a national side.