Former All Black Daryl Gibson has stepped in to vouch for the future of rugby in Australia.

Gibson is in his third year as head coach of the Waratahs and believes that despite recent struggles, Australian rugby still has a chance to recover.

“I prefer to see it as a cycle,” Gibson told Stuff before the Waratahs met the Highlanders for their preseason clash on Friday.

“What separates the New Zealand teams is the depth they have in various positions.

“That’s something that in Australia we’re working towards.”

Gibson feels that Rugby Australia has identified and are actively fixing a crucial issue that has led to potential union stars being lured from the code.

“The clarity of our pathways is much clearer now,” he told Stuff.

“In my observation the schools runs an excellent state competition up to the age of 18. Where we’ve been falling down is the boys between under 18 and under 20.

“I believe we’ve put the system in place to bridge that gap and be far more competitive.

“And also we’re doing a much better job in fending off the league scouts. We’ve got two great prospects coming through at five eighth, Will Harris and Ben Donaldson.

“Will had numerous offers to go to league and he’s turned them down with the help of Rugby Australia to keep him in our game.”

Gibson also chimed in on the questions surrounding Super Rugby’s format. Constant change has caused friction for fans, with organisers still searching to strike the perfect balance.

“[Super 12] It was short, it was one round, it created an incredible intensity around the contest, and because we didn’t saturate it with lots of games it made it a real event,” Gibson said.

“Part of that we’ve lost.

“It’s about finding that balance between, yes we need content that’s driving it for the broadcaster, but also what’s the best format that people are really going to be interested in following and watching?”

Gibson and the Waratahs get their 2019 Super Rugby campaign underway on February 16 when they host the Hurricanes in Sydney.


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