Outgoing Ulster Head Coach Jono Gibbes Already Has A New Job Lined Up

Jason Hennessy

Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor here at RugbyLAD and a proud Limerick man.
Jason Hennessy

That didn’t take long.

It was revealed on Friday that Head Coach Jono Gibbes will leave Ulster Rugby at the end of the season to return to New Zealand.

Commenting on his decision, Gibbes said he was returning home for family reasons, having spent the last ten years away. Gibbes had stints with Leinster and Clermont before moving to Ulster over the summer.

“Being a long way from home for the last ten years has made me prioritise things above my career and so I’ll be returning at the end of this season for family reasons.” Gibbes said.

“The decision to leave here is a difficult one professionally, because I support the team and the staff, and I am excited for what the future holds for them. I believe there are enough passionate and professional people involved to build on the existing strong foundations of the club.

“The challenge ahead for Ulster demands the full attention of everyone involved; the management group, the team, the coaches and support staff. It is exciting and achievable. However, I cannot in good conscience provide my full attention for the journey ahead.

“My family and I have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Ulster to date and we’re very grateful for the welcome and good spirit afforded to us.

“I wish the team and the club all the very best for the future, and I am grateful for their understanding and support.”

It’s now been revealed that Gibbes already has a new job lined up for next season. Gibbes has now been confirmed as the new head coach of provincial New Zealand side, Waikato, the club who he captained in his playing days and represented 64 times between 2000 and 2007.

Waikato finished bottom of the Mitre 10 Cup Premiership conference last year, winning just two of their 10 fixtures. Gibbes says it’s an honour to have been given the opportunity to “do the colours justice” next season.

“For me, it is an honour to have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of previous Waikato coaches, who all contributed to the proud history of the province. With the opportunity comes the responsibility to do the colours justice. That has to be the first objective for myself and for the 2018 team.”