The NSW Waratahs have confirmed Darren Coleman as head coach for 2022 and beyond.
Coleman has signed a three-year deal following an extensive 25-year coaching career, arriving from MLR club LA Giltinis in the USA.
The 48-year-old made his name in the Shute Shield, winning competitions with Warringah (2017) and Gordon (2020), along with serving as head coach and director of rugby of the NSW Country Eagles in the NRC.
“I’m passionate about the opportunity to coach the Waratahs. I’m coming home to what I regard as my dream job, one I’ve been preparing for over many years,” he said in a statement.
“I also know that this role comes with an enormous responsibility to establish a winning team that will proudly represent the people of NSW as a collective of the professional and community game.
“We have a great deal of work to do to regain our place as the best provincial rugby team in the country. That means a team that Waratahs' members and fans are proud of and the team that every rugby-loving kid in NSW wants to play for as they are growing up.
“I want our players to get back their love of the game, to rebuild their confidence in themselves and in the team. I want them to bring back that winning culture at the Waratahs.
“Finally, I genuinely want to express my gratitude to the LA Giltinis' ownership and management for allowing me to take this opportunity and thank the Los Angeles Rugby Community for their support in 2021.”
Waratahs CEO Paul Doorn is confident Coleman is the right man to turn around their fortunes given his vast experience across all levels of NSW Rugby.
“Darren has all the experience that comes from learning the art of coaching over many years and in many different competitions,” Doorn added.
“He’s had success with the Shute Shield clubs in Sydney and he knows the bush and he knows the players and he can draw on the experience gained at overseas clubs, to bring success to the Waratahs.
“The Waratahs represent all of NSW, the players who come through our pathways know they can graduate from Shute Shield to professional rugby and now we have a coach who not only understands that system, but who comes from that system too.
"He’s passionate about bringing that all together and uniting everyone behind the Waratahs and I’m confident we have someone who can lead us to becoming the best provincial team in the country."
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LA Giltinis General Manager and Waratahs legend Adam Freier said the decision to return home has their blessing, with the club currently sitting at the top of the Major League Rugby ladder.
“We are an aspirational club that always wants our players, coaches and staff to achieve their dreams. For that reason, Darren goes with our absolute support,” Freier said.
“We are proud of what Darren has helped build and that the achievements of the Giltinis continue to gain recognition worldwide.
“This is a significant moment in time for the club and MLR that such an iconic franchise as the Waratahs has this faith in our rugby program, culture and its people.
“Already, we are seeing several of our players selected for the USA Eagles and Canada and come into contention for national honors which will remain our focus and underpin the foundations of the club.
“Darren has always done things differently. He is a team-builder and a winner and those traits will continue to strongly guide the Giltinis through the final month of this season and the years ahead.
“He is a good ‘Rugby man’ and dear friend to all of us here at the club. We wish his wife Pauline and kids Jake and Ella the very best in their next chapter. They will always be welcome here at the Giltinis and be part of the LA Rugby Family.”