Former All Black Joins Waratahs Coaching Staff
by Brendan Bradford –
Michael Cheika has announced former All Black centre and Canterbury Crusaders assistant coach, Daryl Gibson will join the Waratahs coaching staff for next season.
With a wealth of playing and coaching experience, Gibson will work alongside Cheika and assistant coach Alan Gaffney as they usher in a new playing style and passion at Moore Park.
“Daryl is the guy who most fitted the vision we have for the team and for NSW rugby,” said Cheika today.
“The new values that we are setting down he believes in already and that was the first thing we considered. To enact the change we want to make here, we need to change everything. I wanted someone fresh. Someone that guys here haven’t had much to do with or been coached by. We need to change the voices, change the approach,” Cheika added.
Gibson, currently touring Europe with the Maori All Blacks, won four Super Rigby titles with the Crusaders as a player before being part of the coaching team that guided the side to the 2011 final and semi-final berths in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
Speaking from Europe, Gibson is excited at the prospect of changing the fortunes of the Waratahs, who finished 11th in 2012.
“I was attracted to the role by Michael Cheika’s vision for the team,” he said.
“His passion and commitment to turning the Waratahs into a winning team made it an easy choice. When you get a group of people committed to being better every day, then winning becomes a by-product.”
After coaching at the Crusaders in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake, Gibson knows the importance of the relationship between a rugby team and its fans and he wants to reconnect with the New South Wales rugby public.
“The Waratahs underperformed last season and I know from Michael that the players are working very hard at the moment so they can earn the respect of fans and become a team that the people of NSW will be proud of and want to come and see.
“We need to reconnect with the people of NSW, to create a deep connection with our community, where fans feel engaged with the team and proud of our performances every week. It’s a fantastic challenge and I wouldn’t be shifting my family to Australia if I did not believe in the people charged with that responsibility.”
Gibson played 77 times for the Crusaders and earned 19 All Blacks caps in an international career lasting from 1999 to 2002. After playing stints in Great Britain, he returned to New Zealand in 2008 as assistant coach at the Crusaders – the position he resigned from last month, to the surprise of many in New Zealand rugby circles.
“I’ve had four fantastic years of coaching at the Crusaders,” Gibson said at the time.
“However it is time for me to forge my own path now, as shown by many Crusaders assistant coaches such as Colin Cooper and Vern Cotter who have gone onto other exciting things.”