Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson admits his future is out of his control, but has backed defence coach Nathan Grey after NSW missed the finals for the second straight year.
Gibson has one year left on his contract but the Waratahs have failed to make the finals under his watch and their defence has been an ongoing concern amid a mediocre year.
With the playoffs ruled out after a loss to the Chiefs, Gibson said he couldn’t necessarily control his fate, but he wasn’t losing sleep over whether the club would honour his final season.
“It’s certainly the board’s decision,” Gibson said.
“ I certainly feel well-supported by the board and the organisation and if they feel they need to go in another direction, that’s a part of coaching and what you sign up for.
Defence has been a weakness for the Waratahs this season but Gibson said the problems were not the fault of Grey, who is responsible for that area at the club.
“I have no issue with Nathan’s coaching, I believe he’s an excellent coach,” he said.
“For whatever reason it just hasn’t happened for the Waratahs this season.
“We’re putting the microscope over those reasons, whether it’s technical issues, attitude issue, that’s certainly going to be one of the things we’re going to look closely at.”
While Gibson initially highlighted defence as a major concern from the first part of the season, the Waratahs mentor said discipline and yet another year with a poor start had ultimately cost them.
“Defence hasn’t been the only thing that has been missing in our game,” he said.
“Everything will be up for review.
“It’s just been the last few weeks that our attack against NZ teams has been pretty good, scoring tries.”
The Waratahs will spend this week in Japan ahead of a clash with Top League powerhouse Suntory, taking a 24-man squad for the trip, including the retired Pat McCutcheon, who is now NSW’s U20s coach.
As for their final two games of Super Rugby after the June Test break, Gibson said he would look to some youth to take the Waratahs forward.
“(I think we’ll) get guys like (lock) Ryan McCauley who’s away playing with the Australian U20s, it could be an excellent opportunity to look at him going forward, give him that experience,” he said.
“Certainly the focus for us is to make sure we finish off on a positive note and certainly won’t be handing out Waratahs jerseys that easily.
“Still the focus is to find the 80-minute performance that’s alluded us.”
Rookie flyhalf Mack Mason will join the squad later in the week, training alongside the Wallabies squad in Melbourne in the lead-in.
Waratahs squad for Japan