Gilmore to join Waratahs as defence coach

Super Rugby - AU
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Jason Gilmore will join the Waratahs as defence coach for the Super Rugby AU competition.

Former NRL star Phil Bailey was working with the Waratahs part-time earlier this year before the sport was shut down but was among the NSW staff stood down in March.

The Waratahs announced on Monday that Gilmore will join NSW part-time, with Bailey officially being let go. 

Gilmore has been working as Junior Wallabies coach but the coronavirus pandemic led to the cancellation of the international U20s season, opening up the opportunity for him to work in a Super Rugby program.

Waratahs general manager of rugby Tim Rapp said it was unfortunate that Bailey had to leave.

"Phil was beginning to settle into the role here and was working well with the group, but unfortunately the shutdown forced us to make some difficult decisions,” he said.

“It was decided that we’d cease our agreement with Phil when COVID began due to the fact he was working as an external contractor, a decision made regarding all contractors in our High-Performance Unit.

“When the opportunity to have Jason come across to the Waratahs was put on the table, it was something we were all excited about.

“He’s a really well-credentialled coach who gets results and has a great track record of developing young players for both provincial and international rugby – bringing his sort of rugby IQ on board is only going to benefit our efforts in the upcoming competition.

Gilmore will return to the Junior Wallabies program once his stint with the Waratahs finishes up.

“Everyone has been going through some difficult times over the last few months, so it’s nice to get back on the grass and be focused on rugby and getting involved with a group of talented, young players here at the Waratahs,” he said.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to work with some new guys, but also build on relationships with players that have been in and around the Junior Wallabies set up in recent times.

“I’m just grateful to be able to be back coaching and working with the likes of Rob [Penney], Whits [Chris Whitaker] and Matt [Cockbain] while the international calendar is on hold.”

The Waratahs aren't the only team that has made coaching changes amid the financial challenges the sport faces.

Reds defence coach Peter Ryan left the club earlier this year, among a number of contractors to leave, and has since taken up a role as skills coach with the NRL's Broncos.

Analyst Matt Todd has taken up the responsibility of defence in the wake of Ryan's departure.

The Waratahs take on the Reds in the Super Rugby AU competition on Friday July 3 at Suncorp Stadium, kicking off at 7:05pm AEST, LIVE on Foxtel, Foxtel Now and Kayo Sports.