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Aussies not ready for World Cup glory

DESPITE breakthrough wins on foreign shores last year, Australia coach Robbie Deans does not believe the current Wallabies squad are ready to win a World Cup.

With the 2011 World Cup finals on the horizon, the soft-spoken New Zealander said the Wallabies had proven they could beat the best, but still needed to master their emotions to win week in, week out.

"We feel that we tend to chase our emotions a little bit and respond to the two imposters if you like - as Roosevelt would suggest - success and failure," Deans said yesterday.

"We want to master the skill and ability of concentrating on what's important all the time, and not being distracted by emotion."

Deans, who joined the Wallabies almost a year ago, guided the team to stirring wins over England, Ireland and France during their northern hemisphere tour last year, but were denied a clean sweep by Wales.

Rousing victories over South Africa and New Zealand during the Tri-Nations and Bledisloe Cup tournaments were invariably followed by thrashings the following week.

Deans said the current side would struggle to win a World Cup.

"Not right now, I don't think, but that's where we would like to get to - to know on any given day we're capable of winning any game we're in regardless of who is the opponent."

"What is evident, as selectors we're going to have make some hard decisions," Deans said.

Deans, who took Canterbury to five Super 12/14 titles and is recognized as one of the great tacticians and motivators of the game, said the decision-making would begin in earnest next month.

Australia faces a powerful Barbarians lineup in Sydney on June 6 and Italy on June 20 in Melbourne before the Bledisloe Cup and Tri-Nations kick off later in the year.

The Wallabies will also head to Europe at the end of the season, with organizers close to fixing an England match on top of dates against Wales, Ireland and Scotland, to complete a rare "grand slam" tour. "The underlying need is for us to go a little bit longer in each contest. We need to close games out," Deans said.


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