Give it a boot Robbie, give it a boot, when the heat’s on Robbie’s got his boots on, – boot it Robbie’!
Watching and listening to rugby during the early eighties, that was the chorus to the infamous Ranfurly Shield song that blasted out on Saturday morning radio across the country as Robbie Deans and his fellow Cantabrians set about defending the coveted Log o’ Wood.
Since those early days of Robbie teaming up with his brother ‘Diesel’ in that great Canterbury Shield side, I have always been a fan of Robbie Deans, and probably always will be.
Watching him produce quality performances in the amateur era as a player, then through to a mightily successful Super career as a coach and now onto the international stage, Deans continues to be at the forefront of his profession.
One quality that has always trademarked Deans as a coach is his willingness to challenge his players and be able to make the tough decisions.
One of the toughest things a coach need to be is a – selector.
Especially when you work as a coach day in and day out with the players with which you are charged responsibility of.
Deans again seems with the naming of his 30 man Rugby World Cup squad to have made those tough calls. Gone are Matt Giteau who not long ago was called the ‘Million Dollar Man’ in Perth due to the size of his pay cheque – the same Matt Giteau that guided round a lethal Aussie back division with aplomb only last season.
Add to that the sacking of Rocky Elsom as captain for the youthful James Horwill and you get an idea of the magnitude of the calls Deans is prepared to make.
Like it or not Australia are simmering away nicely in the build-up to the big event.
A few other coaches of note, could well take a few lessons from Dean’s when it comes to making the tough calls (on RWC selection) – before it’s too late.
Wallabies’ 30-man World Cup squad:
Backs - Kurtley Beale, James O’Connor, Drew Mitchell, Digby Ioane, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Rob Horne, Pat McCabe, Anthony Faingaa, Berrick Barnes, Quade Cooper, Nick Phipps, Luke Burgess, Will Genia.
Forwards – Ben McCalman, Radike Samo, Wycliff Palu, David Pocock, Rocky Elsom, Scott Higginbotham, James Horwill (captain), Rob Simmons, Nathan Sharpe, Dan Vickerman, Ben Alexander, Sekope Kepu, James Slipper, Salesi Ma’afu, Stephen Moore, Saia Faingaa, Tatafu Polota-Nau.
Like the song say’s Robbie has given a few players the proverbial boot. Others will be well aware of this trait and are sure to be on their mettle over the next two months in order to avoid Robbie lacing up his size 10′s again during rugby’s showcase tournament.Tweet