For fans of Rugby Union in Australia the appointment of a coach from NZ, Australia’s biggest rival, was a shock. But with poor performances the order of the day for our national team something radical had to be done. An All Black, the pin-up boy of the Canterbury team of his generation and a rebel with the Cavaliers during a 12-year playing career, Robbie Deans was appointed as Australia’s first foreign-born coach.
What followed was a career as one of the best coaches of the modern era. After 17 years coaching professionally, Robbie still boasts a 70 per cent success rate. He remains Super Rugby’s most successful coach, six seasons after his departure from the Crusaders.
In Robbie Deans: Red, Black, and Gold he reveals the old-fashioned values that have underpinned his career and breaks the silence on his removal from the Wallabies coaching job, examining in depth five turbulent years where the systemic and cultural challenges off the field were every bit as daunting and unrelenting as was confronting the best team on the planet.