Waratahs coach Gibson to tweak Waratahs game

Daryl Gibson wont make big changes to the Waratahs game

New Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson has said that he will try to evolve his Super Rugby team’s game rather than change the way they played under former coach Michael Cheika.

Forty-year-old Gibson has been with the Waratahs for three years and was an assistant coach when they won their first Super Rugby title in 2014 under Cheika.

That first Super Rugby title helped Cheika land the Wallabies job when Ewen McKenzie stood down and former All Blacks centre Gibson has stepped up and taken control with the Waratahs.

“I think it’s a real advantage (to have replaced Cheika),” Gibson said.

“The great thing I have is that I’ve been here for three years. I’m very well acquainted with the way we do things.”

Although Gibson is now in charge and can decide the style of the Waratahs game he says he plans to continue with the path that Cheika was taking the Waratahs on.

“There’s been an excellent blueprint that’s been laid down and those principles are based on hard work – they have not changed,” he told FoxSports.

“We’ve had a certain game style here for three years – certainly, that’s not going to change. “We’re a ball-in-hand team, an attacking team.

“What we’ve got to try and do is evolve that and get better because I think last year we got found out a bit, particularly in that semi-final [loss to the Highlanders] around our game style and teams knowing what we’re up to.

“We’re trying to tweak things up and show that we’re a little bit different.”

One idea that Gibson has been toying with is moving Wallabies fullback Israel Folau to outside centre which would be a brave move given that Folau has won back-to-back John Eales Medals.

“The great thing I think with our backline options is there’s a great deal of flexibility,” Gibson said.

“As I’ve said previously, I’m interested how Folau would go up front, and I’m interested to see how Beale would go at 10 and 15.”

Under Cheika the Waratahs were pushed hard in pre-season training but even though Gibson has something of a reputation for being a nice guy he feels he has been harder on the players this season.

“I think if anything we’ve really tried to train even harder and a number of the guys will tell you that the training loads are through the roof, and that’s a good thing,” Gibson said.

“For me, that forms our attitude and forms our team, and it’s something that I’m certainly trying hard to make sure remains here.”

Wallabies lock Dean Mumm said that the Waratahs coaches hadn’t bothered with easing the Tahs’ Wallabies back into training.

“Certainly they haven’t really eased us back in,” Mumm said.

“[We’re] counting down in days rather than weeks in terms of when we’ve got our first trial, moving into our first game, so you’ve got to get the work done and unfortunately there’s no easy way to do it.

“Consequently we’re doing a lot of work in terms of our physical fitness, but also that game prep, we’ve put in a lot time into that as well.”

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