Robbie Deans has revealed his disappointment at being knifed by senior Wallabies just days before the Australian Rugby Union terminated his contract last year.
While Deans considers his five-year stint as the Wallabies' first-ever foreign coach as one of the most rewarding experiences of his life, he admits the ruthless manner of his axing hurt.
ARU chief Bill Pulver cut Deans two days after Australia capitulated in the series-deciding third Test against the British and Irish Lions in Sydney - but his number was up even if the Wallabies had won.
Opening up on his sacking for the first time, Deans is philosophical 15 months on.
But what grates most is that some Wallabies stars who he'd promoted to the leadership group knew of his impending demise before the match and actually endorsed his departure.
"It didn't end in the manner that I would have preferred," Deans said ahead of the release of his autobiography Red, Black & Gold today.
Deans sheds more light on the sensitive matter in his book, but this week confirmed revelations in the days after his axing from Wallabies forwards coach Andrew Blades that players had been distracted by clandestine meetings about his position before the third Lions Test.
"Things were going on behind the scenes," he said from Japan, where he recently accepted a position to coach the Panasonic Wild Knights.
"On reflection now, that was disappointing that I think it became clear over time, certainly after the fact, that things started to surface - Bladesy's comments - and there was obviously a lot more going on than I was aware of.
"That is disappointing because rugby's a team game and no alignment (means) no outcome invariably."
In the final chapter of his book, titled "Fed To The Lions", Deans said he was "gob-smacked" at how his Wallabies "vanished" in the second half of the 41-16 loss to the tourists.
In an entertaining read, Deans also claims in Red, Black and Gold that the Wallabies will struggle to ever close the gap on the world champion All Blacks until the ARU and Australia's five Super Rugby franchises are better aligned.
A handy cricketer with a representative ton to his name back in his New Zealand homeland, Deans recounts how he once played against David Boon and how, sadly, his 10-year-old son was sledged while batting the day after the Brumbies belted his defending champion Crusaders 51-16 in 2001.