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Chiefs appoint new coach to take over while Warren Gatland leads the Lions

By Online Editors

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Clayton McMillan has been appointed as interim Head Coach of the Gallagher Chiefs for next year’s Investec Super Rugby campaign, as announced today by the Chiefs Rugby Club and New Zealand Rugby.


McMillan has signed a one-year contract with New Zealand Rugby to coach the Gallagher Chiefs while Head Coach Warren Gatland leads the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa. McMillan will take up the role after he has completed his Mitre 10 Cup duties with the Bay of Plenty Steamers.

Current Maori All Blacks Head Coach and Bay of Plenty Rugby Union Director of Rugby, McMillan has been instrumental in the success of Bay of Plenty Rugby Union’s High Performance programme during his tenure with an impressive record including last year’s Mitre 10 Cup Championship title.

His coaching ability was recognised in 2017 when has was appointed Head Coach of the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians side who faced the British and Irish Lions during their 2017 tour of New Zealand and was announced as Head Coach of the Maori All Blacks that same year.

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Chiefs Rugby Club CEO Michael Collins commended McMillan on his appointment.


“We are excited for Clayton to lead the Gallagher Chiefs in 2021. He is a talented coach and was a stand-out candidate. He boasts an excellent track record of developing players and delivering success. Not only during his tenure as the Director of Rugby for the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union, but during the Maori All Blacks and New Zealand Provincial Barbarians campaigns. The results he has achieved reflects his leadership ability.”

“Clayton is no stranger to the Gallagher Chiefs team having already worked alongside Assistant Coaches Roger Randle and David Hill and a number of the Gallagher Chiefs playing group,” said Collins.

New Zealand Rugby Head of Professional Rugby Chris Lendrum congratulated McMillan on his appointment.

“We congratulate Clayton on this appointment, it further confirms his status as a great coach within our ranks. It’s a unique opportunity and I am sure Clayton has the mana to work within the Chiefs environment and continue to build on what Gats and his crew are currently achieving.”


McMillan said he was grateful for the chance to lead the Gallagher Chiefs.

“Super Rugby has certainly been a goal of mine and I am honoured to be appointed as the interim Head Coach for the Gallagher Chiefs. There is a fantastic pool of gifted athletes to work with along with an experienced and talented management group.”

McMillan acknowledged the contribution Bay of Plenty Rugby Union has made to his development.

“I am extremely grateful to Mike Rogers CEO and Board for the opportunities I have had with Bay of Plenty Rugby Union to develop as a coach. Their support, alongside the hard work and dedication of our staff has been instrumental in us delivering a successful vision and outcomes for the Union’s High-Performance Programme and personally as a coach.”

Bay of Plenty Rugby Union CEO Mike Rogers puts McMillan’s selection down to his dedication and commitment to coaching.

“This is great recognition for Clayton. We are delighted for him and very proud. He has been an outstanding contributor for Bay of Plenty Rugby and the Maori All Blacks. It was only going to be a matter of time before he was going to be successful in gaining a position at the Gallagher Chiefs or another Super Rugby franchise.”

– Chiefs Rugby

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