Gibson "close" to extending Waratahs contract into 2020

Super Rugby
by Iain Payten

Daryl Gibson is “close” to finalising a deal with NSW Rugby to stay on as head coach of the Waratahs until the end of 2020.

Gibson signed a one-year contract extension in August last year, extending his stint at the helm of the Waratahs into a fourth year.

That timeframe was of Gibson’s choosing, after he'd revealed earlier in the year he would be ready to move on after the 2019 season; his seventh at the franchise after he began as an assistant under Michael Cheika in 2013.

But it is understood a clause in the contract also gave Gibson the capacity to take up a second year in 2020, and the Kiwi revealed on Wednesday he is now set to stay on as head coach.

"I am really close to staying on here,” Gibson said.

Daryl Gibson will lead the Waratahs for the first time. Photo: Getty Images"I am really enjoying my time. I want to bring that next generation through and post-World Cup, bring that next generation through. I see that as important for this club. 

"I am obviously in a really good place here with the squad at present and conscious that I want to bring that next generation through, and set that up for someone else.”

Gibson’s decision to stay on for another year as head coach will add a layer of intrigue to the futures of the Waratahs’ assistant coaches, given Simon Cron and Chris Whitaker both have head coach experience - and aspirations - and were both been touted as Gibson's successors in 2020.

With the somewhat routine post-World Cup exodus set to occur at the end of the year however, Gibson clearly feels like steadiness at the top is required at the Waratahs.

The Tahs will be among those impacted by the movement of senior players to overseas clubs. Nick Phipps and Curtis Rona have both been linked with moves to England, and there is no shortage of talk that Kurtley Beale and Bernard Foley are also looking at offshore options as well.

Some fear English clubs - cashed up further by private investment by CVC - will escalate their raids considerably but Gibson said the World Cup cycle was common, and players still faced the same choices: take overseas money or stay for Super Rugby and Wallabies jerseys.

Bernard Foley says the Waratahs are keen to go up against the Lions. Photo: Getty imagesHe added that he felt the next generation of Australian rugby was one to be excited about, too.

"That’s just part of how it has always been in rugby,” he said.

"We’re coming up to a four year cycle, where in rugby, there tends to be turnover and I don’t see this as any different. It makes our jobs in making sure the next generation are coming through and coming through consistently. 

"I have been really impressed with the talent that is coming through our ranks. I think of Will Harris, a big no.8 straight out of school, I have been very impressed with him.

"There are a number of players there in the wings, and working away. There is a bright future for Australian rugby."