The NSW Waratahs have confirmed that current Junior Wallabies Head Coach, Jason Gilmore will join Rob Penney’s staff for the upcoming Super Rugby AU season.
Gilmore will remain an employee of Rugby Australia, but in the interim will take up the role of Defence Coach for the domestic competition, joining fellow Assistants Chris Whitaker (Backs) and Matt Cockbain (Forwards).
Gilmore replaces the outgoing Phil Bailey, who was originally stood down as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown.
NSWRU General Manager of Rugby, Tim Rapp said the decision for Bailey not to return was a result of the financial restraints the shutdown had created.
“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,” Rapp 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."
Rapp said that the uncertain nature of the shutdown period and restrictions on the sporting world made high-performance operations challenging, but after several discussions with Rugby Australia it was agreed that Gilmore could join the NSW Waratahs for the remainder of 2020.
Gilmore will remain Head Coach of the Junior Wallabies – and employed by Rugby Australia – but will join the team at Daceyville whilst international travel and rugby remains on hold.
“When the opportunity to have Jason come across to the Waratahs was put on the table, it was something we were all excited about,” Rapp added.
“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.
“Jason already has an existing relationship with our Junior Wallabies players from the last 4 seasons and I think his transition into the group, and influence over our defence structures will be a seamless one.”
Gilmore was excited about being involved in the upcoming Super Rugby AU competition.
“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,” Gilmore 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.”