Blow for Leinster as Robbie Deans rules himself out of running to become Matt O'Connor's successor
Robbie Deans has ruled himself out of the running for the Leinster head coach position.
The former Australia coach had been the 1/9 favourite to replace Matt O'Connor, but said while he was flattered to be linked with the job he would honour his contract with Japanese club Panasonic Wild Knights. However, he refused to deny that the province had made a formal approach.
"It's always nice that people think you're capable of doing a job like that but, in terms of the realities, I'm currently contracted to Panasonic," Deans said.
"The timelines would not suit me at the minute. It is very attractive for someone, but not for me. It's a great destination, a great place to live and play the game and there is great competition."
Deans would not be drawn on whether he had been approached by Leinster. "Approaches are constant in the game as always, just as it is for the players. It's the norm," Deans added ambiguously.
Leinster may wait until after the World Cup to make their move, using their existing coaches to get through the opening months of the season, if the right candidate does not emerge before the tournament.
Scrum-half Eoin Reddan believes the squad must take their portion of the blame for the poor results that ultimately cost O'Connor his job and conceded that, in a World Cup year, the new man has a big job on his hands.
"It is a big challenge," he admitted. "Someone out there will see it as an opportunity and someone out there will think it's not for them. The last thing you want to get is someone who's iffy about coming to you. You want someone who is saying, 'I'm all over this. I want this'.
"We've got the players to not be in a transitional period next year if we all deliver on our own jobs. This year, we didn't. As players, we didn't perform to the level required. That was definitely a big problem."