NSW Waratahs have secured Junior Wallabies coach Jason Gilmore as defence coach for the Australian Super Rugby season. Gilmore will join fellow assistants Chris Whitaker and Matt Cockbain on Rob Penney’s coaching staff, replacing Phil Bailey. Former NRL star Bailey was originally stood down as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown.

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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.

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“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.”

Gilmore will remain head coach of the Junior Wallabies – and employed by Rugby Australia – but will join the Waratahs while 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 said.

“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.”

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The Waratahs play the Queensland Reds at Suncorp Stadium on July 3 in the first match of the new 10-round Australian Super Rugby competition.

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