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Darren Coleman: Making the Waratahs ‘earn their beer’

Thu, 01/07/2021, 6:45 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Maya Stewart lights up the Brumbies to help the Waratahs win comfortably in round three

Earn your beer.

The saying from his dad and biggest mentor Greg that has guided Darren Coleman throughout his 25-year career in Rugby since starting as a development officer in Newcastle.

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Coleman was officially unveiled as Waratahs coach on Thursday, confirming one of the worse-kept secrets in NSW Rugby.

He comes to the club with a stacked resume, having served as an assistant coach at the Waratahs and ACT Brumbies and head coaching roles in Italy, Japan and the USA.

Along with this, his heroics in NSW Rugby, especially in the Shute Shield, is something to marvel at.

Twice Coleman has taken underperforming clubs, first with Warringah (2017) and then Gordon (2020) to titles in the space of five years.

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Arriving from MLR club LA Gilitnis, where he's guided them to the finals in top spot, Coleman was enjoying everything that comes with the 'City of Angels' as he spoke to media from a private box at the Staples Center during Game 6 of the NBA's Western Conference Finals.

However, his message far from that as he looks to instil the same 'never say die' attitude that has been synonymous with his coaching style.

“I remember how I did it with Gordon and it was all around a ‘no quit’ philosophy. You’ve got to have a bunch of fighters and that’s what the first thing I’m going to instil,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“It’s not all going to be strawberries and roses in Year One. There’s going to be hard days and I know that. I think I can galvanise the group to become mentally stronger. There are some ploys and tricks they can invest in as they compete.

“Talent’s important, but there’s a lot of talent in that roster already. Obviously a bit of it is under-developed but if you are going to be playing for the Waratahs next year under me, you going to want to be a positive guy that wants to bounce into work with a smile on your face and want to invest and be emotional about this team.”

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It's the same attitude his father preached to Coleman and the rest of his siblings and why the 48-year-old's long-awaited appointment would've made him especially proud.

“One of his big sayings was to earn your beer. Once you’ve done a hard day’s work, you’ve trained hard and performed well, it was time to relax and celebrate and build good bonds,” he elaborated.

"...He would be pretty proud to see that I’ve stuck with it and got it here now.

“I think that’s a good sign and signal for me to be resilient and stick at it."


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Having missed out on the job originally a few years earlier, Coleman refused to sit around left to wonder what could've been as he prepares to revive the Waratahs fortunes.

“I wasn’t upset last time, I obviously wasn’t good enough,” he said bluntly.

“People make decisions in who they put in place and make those decisions on players and staff.

“…I didn’t want to get to a 70-year-old barfly in my hometown of South Rocks back with regrets and I didn’t want to be that guy in 15-20 years saying I couldn’t done this or that. I want to have a crack and I’d rather fail than not apply.”

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