Australia coach Robbie Deans believes his players will learn from their unsuccessful rugby World Cup campaign and is looking forward to the day when the core of his squad returns to win the trophy.
The Wallabies never really got into their stride at what was a first World Cup for many of the players and were overwhelmed by an experienced New Zealand side in the semi-final on Sunday.
New Zealander Deans said he had thoroughly enjoyed working with them despite not reaching their goal of winning a third World Cup for Australia.
"There's no doubt that this whole playing group will be better for the experience they have had," he told a news conference at the team hotel.
"I love what they do, I've really enjoyed this group of men, they are an impressive group of men, they've been fantastic in the way they've taken to their work.
"They've been fantastic in the way they've committed to each other and the way they're coming to understand the responsibility and the privilege that they have.
"Obviously, we didn't finish up where we'd have liked to but not many do in their first outing."
Deans led the Wallabies to a first Tri-Nations title in a decade earlier in the season and before the World Cup signed a contract extension until the end of 2013.
"I'd love to see this group one day -- and there's no doubt there will be a significant number of them who will get another opportunity -- win a World Cup," he said.
"And, either way, whether I was there or not, I'd take pride in any part I'd played in it."
One of the players who is likely to have at least another World Cup in him, if he chooses to remain playing rugby union, is 23-year-old flyhalf Quade Cooper.
Deans said Cooper, who had a very poor game against the All Blacks on Sunday, had taken a lot of unwarranted criticism during the tournament but he did not think it had affected the New Zealand-born flyhalf's performances.
Impressed with the way Cooper had dealt with it, Deans said the prodigiously gifted playmaker had two choices about how to deal with the criticism.
"You can absorb it, accept it for what it is but maintain your focus on the things that are important and keep going," Deans said. "Or you can let it get the better of you and turn your toes up. I'd like to think he won't be doing the latter."
New Zealand's brilliant performance in beating the Wallabies at Eden Park was in part born of the previous two World Cup failures many of their players had experienced, Deans said.
That gave them an edge over his young side and would make it very difficult for France to stop them from winning a second World Cup 24 years after their first on Sunday.
"What the All Blacks side have is a group that have suffered on many occasions," he said.
"The core of their group, the nucleus of their group, this is their third attempt and they've got that burning desire, that fire in the belly for that reason. And they've also got that mental resilience.
"We don't have that, as yet, to the same extent. That was the point of difference.
"I can't see anyone stopping the All Blacks now." (For the sports blog Left Field go to: http://blogs.reuters.com/sport))
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