Key Points:

Robbie Deans will be the latest in a line of larger-than-life characters who have been charged with the role of Wallabies coach. Traditionally, Australian Rugby Union coaches have been personalities who are unafraid to speak out, and freely show their emotions from their position on the sideline.

IN CHARGE OF GREEN AND GOLD - Aussie coaches in recent times:

Alan Jones (1984 - 1988)


One of the more successful Australian coaches, the outspoken Jones boasted a record of 23 victories from 30 Tests. He then switched codes, and became coach of a NRL rugby league side, the Balmain Tigers (1990-93). In recent years, he has made a name for himself as a broadcaster on radio station 2GB and a motivational speaker.

Bob Dwyer (1982-83 and 1989 - 1995)

Bob Dwyer will always have a place in Australian Rugby Union history, as he won them their first ever World Cup, in 1991. Dwyer was once described by Stephen Jones, chief rugby writer for London's Sunday Times, as "perhaps the finest coach the game has ever seen". He was awarded a Centenary Medal by the Australian Government in 2003 for his services to rugby union and an Order of Australia the following year for his contribution to sport and the community.

Greg Smith (1996 - 1997)

Smith, the 'forgotten man' amongst a colourful panoply of Wallaby coaches, came into the position at a time of dramatic change in world rugby, as the game was just becoming professional. The highlight of Smith's brief tenure was guiding the Wallabies on a 12-game unbeaten tour of Europe in late 1996. He died, aged only 52, of a brain tumour in 2002.

Rod McQueen (1997 - 2001)

If Alan Jones and Bob Dwyer had good records in charge, Rod McQueen had an excellent one. He led the Wallabies to victory at the 1999 Rugby World Cup in Wales, where they defeated France in the final, becoming the first nation to ever win the World Cup twice. The following year Australia won the Tri-Nations for the first time ever.

He retired from the game after guiding the Wallabies to a famous victory over the highly rated 2001 British Lions side captained by Martin Johnson. He finished his career as the Australian coach with a test match winning record of just below 80 per cent.


Eddie Jones (2002 - 2005)

The 'other' Jones, Eddie, took Australia to the final of the 2003 Rugby World Cup, losing to England in the famous final match after which players spoke out strongly about his 'hands-on' coaching style. After a less-than-successful stint coaching the shambolic Queensland Reds, he's now a 'Technical Adviser' for the Springboks - a job which, understandably, has seen him attract a lot of scorn from his countrymen back in Australia!

John Connolly (2006 - 2007)

Connolly got his nickname, 'Knuckles', when he worked as a nightclub bouncer in Darwin as a young man. In his first Test in charge of Australia, the home side had a win over England. Following the defeat to England in the quarter-finals of the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Connolly's term as coach of the Wallabies came to an end.

Robbie Deans (2008 - ?)