Pathways endorsed as Gilmore joins Tahs in 2021

Super Rugby
by Harrison Wakeling

In an endorsement to the pathways of Australian rugby, Junior Wallabies coach Jason Gilmore will join the NSW Waratahs on a full-time basis in 2021.

Originally on loan to the Waratahs as a defence coach for Super Rugby AU competition, Gilmore will officially depart Rugby Australia’s National Academy and Junior Wallabies set-up to join the Waratahs as their defensive coach on a full-time basis.

It’s rich reward for Gilmore, who helped get the Waratahs back on track in 2020 after a slow start under new coach Rob Penney, where Phil Bailey came in at the last second as defence coach following the sudden departure of Steve Tandy to Scotland.

Under Gilmore, the Waratahs conceded just 23.6 points on average during Super Rugby AU which was a significant improvement from the 35.6 points they were leaking on average before the official season was brought to a halt because of COVID-19.

Gilmore’s transition to the Waratahs was made easier by the fact a host of young talent had been coached by him at the Junior Wallabies, who made the under-20s World Cup final in 2019.

“Jason’s CV is much aligned to those of the young players that he is now coaching,” Rugby Australia’s Head of Talent Management Adrian Thompson said.

“His ability to develop young talent has been seen at the underage level and will now continue through into the Waratahs.”

It’s Gilmore’s second stint in Super Rugby, after a short time with the Queensland Reds.

A former 1st XV coach at Queensland’s Toowoomba Grammar School, as well as the Wallabies nursery ‘Churchie’ (Anglican Grammar School, Brisbane), Gilmore’s success at the underage level was highly sought after leading the school to an undefeated GPS Season.

From there, Gilmore arrived at Ballymore in 2015, taking up a joint role as Head Coach of Queensland Country within the newly formed National Rugby Championship as well as working as the Red’s Elite Development Coach.

The launch of the Super 20’s in 2016 saw Gilmore take charge of the Reds U20s seeing them win the inaugural title 35-5 against the Melbourne Rebels.

His success here saw his role expanded in his role at the Reds to work as an Assistant Coach within the Super Rugby Side, before taking up the role as the Junior Wallabies head coach in 2018.

There, Gilmore has led his side to a historic win over the All Blacks U20s as well as a second-place finish in the Junior World Championships in 2019.

Presiding over the Junior Wallabies for two years, Gilmore has seen 10 of the current 44-man Wallabies squad members through to the Junior Wallabies program, including rising stars Harry Wilson, Noah Lolesio and Will Harrison.



Now full time in the Waratahs set-up, Gilmore will have the opportunity to continue in the development of some of his core Junior players.

The young waratahs side features a large contingent of the Junior Wallabies program, from Angus Bell in the front row right through to a highly-touted Mark Nawaqanitawase.

His journey proving that not only is there a pathway for players but also Australia’s coaches too.