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Gatland Named Chiefs Head Coach

Less than 24 hours after it was announced that Colin Cooper would leave the club Warren Gatland has been confirmed as their new main man

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(Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has been announced as the new head coach of New Zealand Super Rugby franchise the Chiefs.

The club confirmed on Friday that Gatland, who takes over from Colin Cooper, has signed a four-year deal which will begin following the conclusion of this year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Gatland previously managed Waikato Rugby Union and was a technical advisor at the Chiefs before his move to the international stage. The Six Nations most successful coach with four titles including an incredible three Grand Slams is delighted to have returned to home soil.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to come back home. The opportunity to come back as head coach of the Chiefs is something that I am really looking forward to. The Chiefs are well known for the success they have had both on and off the field and the really loyal support they have from everyone within the Chiefs region. I’m excited to come back and be a part of the Chiefs community with the players, the fans, the sponsors, it’s something I really look forward to,” he said.

As well as all his Welsh success Gatland has also coached the British & Irish Lions in both Australia and New Zealand, securing a series win and draw respectively.

It was confirmed earlier this year that Gatland will lead the Lions on their 2021 tour of South Africa and his deal with the Chiefs accounts for a period of leave to accompany this.

New Zealand Rugby’s head of professional rugby believes that the signing of Gatland is exciting for New Zealand Rugby as a whole.

“This is an outstanding appointment and a coup for the Chiefs, for Super Rugby and for the game in New Zealand generally. We are excited to have a coach of Warren’s experience and international standing coming back into our environment,” he said.

Meanwhile Chiefs CEO Michael Collins is excited about the prospect of Gatland’s return, insisting he can build on the foundations left by Cooper.

“Warren is a world-class coach who boasts a proven track record. With a sound rugby background and his desire to return home to New Zealand and be involved in Super Rugby naturally made him a top choice for the role. Like Warren, we are excited for his return to the Chiefs environment. He will continue to build on the work Colin Cooper and his team management have achieved in maintaining a sustainable high-performance environment for the club,” he said.

Gatland is also set to manage the Barbarians in a November test against current side Wales upon their return from the World Cup.

The question that many fans will wonder is if this is the final step before Gatland takes the reins at the All Blacks in a move that has been hinted at for some time, but we will have to wait and see.

International

Rugby Australia Make Significant Cuts

Following the coronavirus pandemic rugby has been hit hard with no way of playing games and now Rugby Australia have been forced into making cuts in order to retain staff in the long-run

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(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Rugby Australia have confirmed that they will be standing down 75% of their staff in a bid to combat the growing struggles that the coronavirus pandemic is causing.

The workers will be released from tomorrow until the 30th of June due to the lack of finances available to Rugby Australia with the Super Rugby season currently on hold and a strong possibility of the Wallabies summer tests being called off. 

In the worst case possible the organisation are predicting a loss of $120 million due to the virus and speaking on the latest developments the organisation’s chief executive Raelane Castle admitted this was the toughest decision she and her colleagues had ever had to make. 

“Today we have had to deliver the hardest news imaginable to our incredible, hard-working and passionate staff, that many of them will be stood down for a three-month period so that the game can survive this unprecedented crisis. Since the suspension of our proposed domestic Super Rugby competition, we have been working to understand both the immediate and long-term financial implications for the game as a result of the suspension of the competition, and potential further loss of revenue-generating content as we look ahead to the international season. Our extensive modelling shows that as a code, we could lose up to $120 million in revenue should it not be possible for any rugby to be played in 2020. Of course, that is the worst case scenario, and we are very hopeful that we can recommence the Super Rugby season and domestic Wallabies test matches at some point this year. The measures we will implement from April 1, although extremely painful, are necessary to ensure the sport remains financially viable and to ensure that we are able to come out the other side of this global crisis, fully-operational and ready to throw everything into the rebuild. It is our priority to keep all of our valued team connected and engaged through this period,” she said. 

Castle’s has already taken a 50% pay cut since the crisis began and the rest of Rugby Australia’s executives will have a 30% reduction in pay. 

It is a tough call to make in order to preserve rugby in Australia and the fear is that things may get worse with a fear that not all four of the country’s Super Rugby franchises will make it through to next season due to the financial losses.

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Super Rugby

New Zealand Rugby Sides Facing Pay Cuts

New Zealand Rugby are preparing for the possibility of having to cut wages following the outbreak of the coronavirus

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(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association chief executive Rob Nichol has admitted that there is a possibility of pay cuts among Super Rugby sides with the league in lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Over the weekend it was confirmed that Super Rugby would be suspended due to the coronavirus and there is a fear that the competition may not be completed this year. 

Speaking on the situation, Nichol told Stuff that New Zealand’s five Super Rugby side are preparing for the worst. 

“As it stands right now, things are kind of status quo. But we are not naive. We know there is going to be a commercial impact, we know we will have to sit around the table and work with the other stakeholders and be a part of the solution. And get things on an even keel once we understand what we are really dealing with,” he said. 

There are a number of options over the remainder of the season being put forward, with only “derby matches” being played one of the possibilities. 

That would mean a number of matches not being played and a loss in matchday revenue for the respective teams, but Nichol is ready for whatever happens as long as the people are looked after. 

“Whatever we decide to do, it will be that kind of team approach. We know there is going to be commercial ramifications but first of all we will be doing what is right for the people,” he added. 

There is no certainty over what is going to happen in the coming weeks and months, but the ramifications could be huge and Nichol finished by stating that however this ends all sides will work their hardest to make the most of a bad situation with clubs heading into the unknown at this moment in time.

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Super Rugby

Wallabies Ace Set for Stint on Sidelines

One of the Wallabies star players is set to be out of action for the next while due to an injury he picked up playing for the Brumbies last weekend

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(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Wallabies prop Allan Alaalatoa is set to be out of action for the next few weeks after breaking his arm playing for the Brumbies last weekend the Super Rugby franchise have confirmed.

The 26-year-old Brumbies captain left the field of play before half-time in the Brumbies 47-13 win over the Waratahs and returned to the sidelines with his arm in a sling. 

It has now been announced that he broke his arm during the game and is expected to miss around six weeks due to the injury with the club hoping to see their star man out on the pitch again soon. 

“The Brumbies can confirm that captain Allan Alaalatoa suffered a broken arm in the match against the Waratahs. Get well soon skip!,” the Brumbies tweeted. 

However, despite the injury it is unknown how many matches Alaalatoa will actually miss, if any at all with Super Rugby currently suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak meaning no matches are being played for the foreseeable future. 

It could mean that he will be back in action along with his teammates whenever they return to play, whatever happens the hope is that the 37-cap Wallaby will be back to play as soon as possible.

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