Robbie Deans

Robbie Deans

Infobox Rugby biography
name = Robbie Deans

caption =
birthname = Robert Maxwell Deans
nickname =
birthyear = 1959
birthmonth = 09
birthday = 04
placeofbirth = Cheviot, New Zealand
dateofdeath =
placeofdeath =
height =height|m=1.80
weight =convert|79|kg|stlb|abbr=on
ru_position = Fullback|capital=yes
ru_nationalteam = All Blacks
ru_nationalyears = 1983–1985
ru_nationalcaps = 5
ru_nationalpoints =(50)
ru_ntupdate =2007-12-29
ru_clubyears =
ru_proclubs =
ru_clubcaps =
ru_clubpoints =
ru_clubupdate =
ru_province = Canterbury
ru_provinceyears =1979–1990
ru_provincecaps =146
ru_provincepoints =(1641)
ru_provinceupdate =2007-12-29
ru_coachclubs = Canterbury All Blacks (assistant coach) Crusaders
ru_coachyears = 1997 - 2000 2001 - 2003 2000 - 2008
ru_coachupdate =2007-12-29
other = yes
family =
spouse =
children =
relatives = Bruce Deans (brother)
Bob Deans (great-uncle)
school = Christ's College
university =

Robert Maxwell Deans, born 4 September 1959 in Cheviot, New Zealand) is the current coach of the Wallabies and a former All Black. He is the former coach of the Crusaders. He also served as assistant to former All Blacks coach John Mitchell between late 2001 and 2003. As the coach of the Crusaders, Deans has won more Super rugby titles than any other (three Super 12 titles and two Super 14). He has also coached the Canterbury provincial team in the National Provincial Championship, winning the title in 1997. As a player, Deans represented Canterbury, playing at First five-eighth and then Fullback. He also played 19 matches for the All Blacks, including 5 Tests.

Playing career

Deans attended Christ's College in Christchurch as a boarder where he played rugby mainly at first five-eighth.Giford (2004), pg 111] He made his provincial debut for Canterbury in 1979 and played mainly at fullback, as the team already had future All Black coach Wayne Smith playing at first-five. Deans was the first-choice goal-kicker for the team and scored 1,641 points for his province. He was a member of the Canterbury team during the Ranfurly Shield era of the early 1980s. This included kicking eight of Canterbury's 16 points in its 16-12 Shield challenge win over Wellington in 1982.Cite web|url= |title=Sportsfreaks Top 10 Shield moments | |date=17 July 2006 |accessdate=28 October |accessyear=2006] Following a All Blacks test series in UK in 1983, Deans played 5 months in the french FC Grenoble where he acquired his part of french flair... The shield reign ended in 1985 against Auckland in "the match of the century" where Deans also played. [Gifford (2004), pg 124] This reign is the longest in Canterbury rugby union history.cite web| url=,162,1298,html/Thanks-for-the-Memories |title=Thanks for the Memories | |date=25 September 2006 |accessdate=28 October |accessyear=2006] He went on to represent Canterbury 146 times until 1990.

Deans also played for New Zealand's national rugby team, the All Blacks. His first game for the All Blacks was against Edinburgh on 26 October 1983. Deans played five tests for the All Blacks, scoring 50 points. He played an additional 14 games for the All Blacks scoring 202 points. His All Black career lasted less than two years, playing his last game against a Mar del Plata selection on 29 October 1985. He did however participate in the controversial Cavaliers tour of South Africa in 1986. Deans also played for Canterbury Country in the Hawke Cup.

Coaching career

Canterbury and Crusaders

Deans was appointed as coach of the Canterbury team for the 1997 National Provincial Championship (NPC) season. [Gifford (2004), pg 156] He was assisted by Steve Hansen (current All Blacks forwards coach). Deans' first season was a success, with Canterbury beating Auckland for the first time in 14 years, then going on to win the title. [Gifford (2004), pg 161] The following year he managed the Canterbury Crusaders (since renamed Crusaders) Super Rugby franchise who were coached by Wayne Smith. The Crusaders won the title, beating the Auckland Blues (since renamed the Blues) in the final at Eden Park. [Howitt (2005), pg 51.] The Crusaders repeated this feat the following year, with Deans again manager. [Howitt (2005), pg 65.]

In 2000 Deans took over as Crusaders coach after Wayne Smith became All Blacks coach. He coached the Crusaders to their third successive Super 12 title that year, beating the Brumbies in Canberra. He continued to coach the Canterbury team in the NPC in 2000 which lead to a Ranfurly Shield win over Waikato; the shield was held until 2003 (totalling 23 challenges). Canterbury's success in the 2000 season saw them host the NPC final at Jade Stadium against Wellington. A victory would have seen Deans coach teams to Super 12, Ranfurly Shield and NPC titles in the same year; however eventually Wellington won 34-29. [Gifford (2004), pg 181]

From 2001 Deans concentrated solely on the Crusaders. The 2001 Super 12 season was his least successful in charge — the Crusaders finish tenth. But the following season, the Crusaders went through the entire season undefeated and won their fourth title overall, and their second with Deans as coach. In the following two seasons the Crusaders finished runners-up to the Blues in 2003, and then the Brumbies in 2004. The Crusaders won their third title under Deans in 2005. The Crusaders won their sixth title (the first of the expanded Super 14) in 2006, and their fourth win with Deans in charge, making him the most successful coach in Super Rugby history so far. In 2008, Deans' last season in charge of the Crusaders, he coached them to a seventh super rugby title after they beat the NSW Waratahs at Jade Stadium. In honour of the Deans family, Jade Stadium (now AMI Stadium) is erecting a new stand called the "Deans Stand", this will be completed in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

John Mitchell appointed Deans as his assistant when he became All Blacks coach in late 2001. Deans held the position until Mitchell was replaced after the 2003 Rugby World Cup. Under Mitchell and Deans, the All Blacks won the 2002 and 2003 Tri-Nations titles, as well as the Bledisloe Cup in 2003.


On 14 December 2007, it was announced that Deans had been appointed the new Australia coach. The contract was for four years - leading into the 2011 Rugby World Cup - as Deans became the first ever foreigner to coach Australia. His contract with the Crusaders finished after the 2008 season and the New Zealand Rugby Union agreed to allow Deans to continue as Crusaders coach through the 2008 Super 14 season.cite news| url= |title=Deans is the new Wallabies coach | |last=Hinton |first=Marc |accessdate=2007-12-14 |date=2007-12-14]

Shortly after the details were made official, Deans released a personal statement on the Crusader's official website [cite news|url=,111,2529,0,html |title=A personal message from Crusaders coach Robbie Deans ||accessdate=2008-02-12|date=17 December 2007] :

[...] The decision to leave Christchurch after the end of the 2008 Crusaders season and coach overseas has undoubtedly been one of the most difficult of my professional sporting career.While the rugby marketplace has been global ever since rugby went professional 12 years ago, it is probably only now that I truly appreciate the thought process and the 'what ifs?' that so many others have gone through before reaching this point.To go (off shore) is a big decision. It is not one that is entered into lightly. [...] I am ready to coach internationally.After serving for eleven years as a Super rugby manager and coach here, I feel I can not afford to forgo the position offered to me in Australia.It is both flattering and humbling that the Australian Rugby Union has afforded me this opportunity.While it will no doubt be an interesting position to be in, coaching against New Zealand; it is not without precedent, and will add to my personal development as a coach - as it has done for others before me.I always aspired to leave the Crusaders in good shape when the time came.I believe I will be doing that.Not only do we have a good level of depth among our player base, there are some quality people in place around the team, and some highly promising coaches coming through.Their time is coming. It would not have been right to delay their potential development by hanging on for too long.I'm proud of my association with Canterbury rugby, the Crusaders, Christchurch and the wider Crusaders franchise community. [...] Although the move to Australia opens a new chapter in our lives, it's not a case of closing the book here.Our thoughts will always be with Canterbury and the Crusaders. [...] Robbie Deans


Besides coaching the Crusaders to five Super Rugby titles, Deans has won numerous individual awards. He was the Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Trust's Canterbury Coach of the Year in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2006, sharing the award in 2001 (with Steve Hansen) and 2006 (with Vern Cotter).Cite web| url= |title=Canterbury Sporting Hall of Fame | |accessdate=28 October |2006] He was nominated for Halberg Award Coach of the Year in 2002.cite web| url= |title=2002 Say When Halberg Awards | |accessdate=28 October |accessyear=2006] He also won the New Zealand Rugby Coach of the Year Award in 2002.cite web| url= | title=Steinlager Rugby Awards | |date=31 October 2002 |accessdate=28 October |accessyear=2006]

Notable family members

His great-uncle, Bob Deans, was an All Black and also captained the Canterbury rugby team. His brother, Bruce, was an All Black and member of the Canterbury team. Bob's brother Colin also played rugby, his father Tony played cricket, and in the sixth generation of the family Millie Deans is a member of the Canterbury women's rugby team.

Notes and references

Bibliography and references


External links

* [,393,1561,0,html/Robbie-Deans-Head-Coach Crusaders profile]
* [,19528,12334_3108595,00.html Deans calls expansion]
* [,18259,3562_3095876,00.html Deans warned after close shave]
* [,25197,23874704-5015651,00.html Deans interviewed about his french experience] in : The Australian

NAME=Deans, Robert
SHORT DESCRIPTION=New Zealand rugby union player and coach
DATE OF BIRTH=1959-09-04
PLACE OF BIRTH=Cheviot, New Zealand

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