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Former Leinster star set to join Castres staff

By Neil Fissler
Castres' Irish head coach Jeremy Davidson looks on prior to the French Top14 rugby union match between USA Perpignan and Castres Olympique at the Aime-Giral stadium in Perpignan, south-western France, on March 30, 2024. (Photo by Valentine CHAPUIS / AFP) (Photo by VALENTINE CHAPUIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Castres head coach, former Ireland and Lions lock Jeremy Davidson, has turned to Chris Whitaker to fill his vacant attack coach job at the Stade Pierre-Fabre next season.


Midi Olympique are reporting that ex-Leinster and Wallaby scrum-half Whitaker, 49, who is the NSW Waratahs attack coach, is going to replace David Darricarrère, who is dropping down into the Pro D2 to join Brive next season.

Whitaker, George Gregan’s Wallabies understudy, retired after helping Leinster in 2009 to go into coaching. Davidson, who himself has another year left to run on his deal, is set to hand Whitaker a one-year contract.

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Sydney-born Whitaker is a familiar face in French rugby after coaching under Michael Cheika at Stade Francais and then under legendary Wallaby lock Justin Harrison at Narbonne for a couple of years.

In 2016, he moved to Montauban, where he was co-head-coach for two years before returning home to Australia to coach the Sydney Rays in the National Rugby Championship.

He started his coaching career at Leinster, joined the Waratahs as an assistant coach ahead of the 2019 Super Rugby season, and, in March 2021, became interim head coach with Jason Gilmore following the sacking of Rob Penney.

Whitaker, who was part of the Wallabies squads at the 1999 and 2003 World Cups, was an unused replacement as Jonny Wilkinson’s extra-time drop goal earned England a 20-17 victory at Sydney’s Stade Australia.


He stayed on the Waratahs staff when Darren Coleman took over but is now looking to move on and has spoken to Davidson, who had been linked with moves to bring former players Sébastien Tillous-Borde and Jean-Marc Aué back to the club.



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Abe 2 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

Not a fan of your picks. McReight is good at club level but he is too small for international level and has consistently disappointed there. Better to go for larger guys. Kemeney, Valentini, Hooper, Leota, Samu, Swinton, etc. Aalatoa and Nonga are woeful scrummagers and don’t offer much around the field. Wallabies will not win if the scrum falls to pieces. The fact that Faamissli hasn’t been developed is a tragedy. Need a scrum that doesn’t give away penalties. So looks like a Talakai maybe instead. Best scrummagers need to be selected. McDermott runs the ball too much and doesn’t fit into a structured attack like Schmidts. Gets isolated too often. Ok off the bench late but not for 60 mins. Goal kicking has to be one of the top 3 points for a 10 so that does in Gordon and O’Connor. Be better off going for lynagh on that front. Donaldson and Noah seem to be doing best of the established names. QC a better mentor type guy than OConnor as well if he’s playing. Daugunu has been the most consistent 13 and breaks the line a lot so must be in the squad. Joost has also been good. Richie Arnold playing well for Toulouse and is a preeminent lineout jumper so needs to be in. Latu also playing well for La Rochelle and is better scrummager than the Aussie choices so should be in. The big guy at the Tahs Amataroso I think it is needs to be developed as well. Otherwise the team will be too small. Hodge is a better choice at fullback than Wright. Latter makes too many mistakes. Not sure if Hodge available.

7 Go to comments
Turlough 6 hours ago
Four Leinster talking points after latest Champions Cup final loss

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17 Go to comments
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