Steamers reveal new head coach

New Steamers coach Daryl Gibson. Photo. Supplied. BOP Rugby.

Bay of Plenty Rugby has today announced Daryl Gibson as the new Steamers Head Coach.

Gibson brings a wealth of coaching experience having previously been assistant coach with Glasgow Warriors, the Crusaders and the Māori All Blacks. Most recently Gibson was head coach of the New South Wales Waratahs from 2016 to 2019.

The former All Black has been living in the BOP area since his exit from the Australian side and will now lead last year’s beaten Mitre10 Cup semi-finalists into the new season.

“It’s a real privilege to come back after coaching overseas and to contribute once again to coaching in New Zealand and the Bay of Plenty,” says Gibson. “I’ve really enjoyed living and working in the Bay over the last year and now being able to lead the Steamers is a great opportunity.”

Gibson replaces Clayton McMillan who has replaced Warren Gatland, who is on secondment with the British and Irish Lions, as Chiefs head coach.

“We are really pleased to announce a coach of Daryl’s international quality and experience as the new head coach of the Steamers,” says Bay of Plenty Rugby CEO, Mike Rogers. “Over the past year living in the Bay of Plenty, Daryl has already made a big impression and shown a willingness to help rugby in the Bay as we continue to grow.

“One of the reasons for appointing Daryl was to have him on board to help grow and develop our coaches alongside helping our players achieve Super Rugby and International representation.”

Gibson will start the role immediately and is eager to get stuck in.

“I have always kept an eye on what has been happening in Bay of Plenty,” says Gibson. “Clayton did an excellent job over his tenure and in particular the last two years. The new coaching group has a real opportunity to build on the success and I am very excited to work with the current group of players and to see how far we can take them.”

The new head coach admits an early challenge will be catching up with all the contracted players at the club whilst also sharing his excitement at the talent coming through in the region.

“They are scattered around the country so it makes it a little difficult but that’s the landscape of professional rugby nowadays and players go where there are opportunities.

“I’m also looking forward to seeing some club rugby and some of the younger players coming through,” Gibson continues. “The performance of the Bay of Plenty Toa players has been a real positive and those players are now contributing to the Steamers and getting chances at Super level.”

Joining Gibson in the Steamers coaching group is former Hurricanes assistant coach Richard Watt. After finishing the 2019 Super Rugby season with the Hurricanes, Watt joined Tonga’s coaching staff for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

“Sometimes timing and opportunity align and with Richard making the decision with his family to relocate to the Bay we were able to gain a quality coach and person to not only develop our players but play a role in developing coaches in the Bay,” says Steamers CEO Rogers.

“Richard brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with him to the Bay, which will be a great benefit to the team and the Union.

 “We are still working through confirming the rest of the coaching group to add to these two quality appointments.”

The Steamers will begin their 2021 campaign in August. The draw is yet to be released.

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