Former Waratahs head coach Darryl Gibson has been named as the head coach of the Bay of Plenty Rugby Steamers.

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The former Leicester Tigers, Glasgow Warriors, Bristol and Crusaders centre will takeover in what is his first coaching gig on New Zealand soil since he left his assistant role with the Crusaders set up in 2012. In recent years he has enjoyed stints with both Fiji and Samoa.

“It’s a real privilege to come back after coaching overseas and to contribute once again to coaching in New Zealand and the Bay of Plenty. I’ve really enjoyed living and working in the Bay over the last year and now being able to lead the Steamers is an great opportunity” says Gibson.

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“I have always kept an eye on what has been happening in Bay of Plenty. Clayton [McMillan] did an excellent job over his tenure and in particular the last 2 years. The new coaching group has a real opportunity to build on the success and I am very excited to work with the current group of players and to see how far we can take them.”

Gibson, who has been living locally, takes over with immediate effect.

“I look forward to getting around to talk to all our contracted players whether at Super or Club level. They are scattered around the country so it makes it a little difficult but that’s the landscape of professional rugby nowadays and players go where there are opportunities.”

“I’m also looking forward to seeing some club rugby and some of the younger players coming through. The performance of the Bay of Plenty Toa players has been a real positive and those players are now contributing to the Steamers and getting chances at Super level” says Gibson.

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Bay of Plenty Rugby CEO, Mike Rogers comments “We are really pleased to announce a coach of Daryl’s international quality and experience as the new Head Coach of the Steamers. Over the past year living in the Bay of Plenty, Daryl has already made a big impression and shown a willingness to help rugby in the Bay as we continue to grow. One of the reasons for appointing Daryl was to have him on board to help grow and develop our coaches alongside helping our players achieve Super Rugby and International representation.”

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