Jed Holloway's breakthrough Super Rugby season is over, with the Waratahs backrower set for shoulder surgery.
Holloway has been a revelation for NSW this season, stepping up into the number eight jersey, before dislocating his shoulder at a training session almost a month ago.
The 24-year-old has been a standout for NSW since making history with a hat-trick off the bench against the Highlanders, but will have to wait until 2017 to make hsi way back to Super Rugby, and push for a potential Test spot.
"Jed is going to have surgery, we made that decision this week," he said.
"He looked decidedly worse after the Crusaders game than he did when he injured himself here at the captain’s run so we’ve made a decision that he’ll have shoulder surgery, out for four months."
Palu will take the starting number eight spot for the Waratahs against the Chiefs, with Gibson praising the veteran's form line over recent weeks.
"Cliffy's playing some really excellent rugby in the twilight of his career so it’s a really handy replacement," he said.
"At 35, he’s still producing, which is great.
"Disappointing for Jed, I think he was really in contention for a Wallabies position and pushing hard for that so for him while disappointing, I’m sure over the next few years, he’s going to push for higher honours."
Waratahs captain Michael Hooper echoed Gibson's comments about Palu, who starts among a swathe of changes.
"Cliff is back, who’s been playing exceptionally," he said.
"All guys (coming in) who have played in those positions before, it's just wanting them to do what they’ve been put there to do by the coaching staff and that’s excel tomorrow night in what’s going ot be an open game.