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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.

Rugby Championship

SANZAAR to Consider Japan’s Rugby Championship Inclusion

Following their hugely impressive Rugby World Cup performances from Japan SANZAAR are set to not only consider the team’s inclusion in the Rugby Championship but are also to reconsider the Sunwolves future according to reports

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Japanese rugby franchise the Sunwolves could be set for a return to Super Rugby as well as the national side having a chance to compete in the Rugby Championship according to a report from Newshub.

Following Japan’s brilliant World Cup campaign where they reached the last eight of the competition for the first time in their history, SANZAAR are apparently set to consider bringing the country into the Rugby Championship to help them develop their game. 

The report claims that SANZAAR are set to meet in Tokyo on Friday where they will also discuss the possibility of reintroducing the Sunwolves to Super Rugby. 

Speaking to Newshub, World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper is hoping that Japan will be able to compete at the highest level and rues the fact that the Nations Championship proposal was shut down. 

“Certainly if I was in their shoes I’d be very keen to have Japan in my competition sooner rather than later. That’s entirely their call. We proposed a nations championship that had Japan very much playing at the top table and maybe they’ll see it that way for their own particular championship” he said. 

The inclusion of the Sunwolves would be huge for Japan after the franchise failed to agree a new contract with SANZAAR to extend their time in the competition where they have only won eight of 62 games since 2016. 

However, considering the success of the national side this tournament it seems only fair that they should be given a chance to continue their development to the top tier and that will only happen if their players are playing against the best week in week out. 

The Japanese were unfortunate to go down 26-3 to the Springboks on Saturday in the quarter-finals, but following their incredible performances where they played a fast and exciting style of rugby, earning many fans worldwide, people will hope that this is only the beginning of their rugby story.

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Super Rugby

Brumbies Sign Rugby League Star

The Brumbies have signed a Rugby League star for the 2020 Super Rugby

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(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Australian Super Rugby franchise the Brumbies have confirmed the signing of rugby league star Solomone Kata from Melbourne Storm ahead of 2020 season. 

The 24-year-old is a five-time capped Tonga and six-time capped New Zealand international and has put pen to paper on a three deal with Canberra-based side which starts next year. 

Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar is delighted to have the utility back join the franchise as he adds further depth to the squad. 

“He is a point of difference player with a physical profile to add to our squad. He is a very powerful and dynamic footballer who has the ability to stress any defensive line. At this stage, we see him as a utility back and we will be open-minded about the position he plays,” he said. 

While the player himself, who has played league for the New Zealand Warriors as well as Melbourne Storm is excited to start this new chapter in his career. 

“I have heard very good things about the Brumbies and how they have developed their players … I can’t wait to get to Canberra to start my professional rugby union career,” he said. 

The back had a fantastic record with the Warriors side scoring 45 tries in only 93 matches, but failed to appear for Melbourne Storm. However, Brumbies fans will certainly be excited about having a new player with a lot of potential. 

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Premiership

White’s Future Finally Sorted Out

Wallabies scrum-half Nic White has confirmed what team he shall sign for come the end of his contract with Exeter

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(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

The Brumbies have confirmed the signing of Wallabies scrum-half Nic White from the Exeter Chiefs from the 2021 Super Rugby season.

White has signed a two-year deal that will see him through until after the 2022 Super Rugby season with his former employers, whom he lined-out for previously between 2011 and 2015. 

The 29-year-old has admitted that he is delighted to be moving home in a couple of years time but is looking forward to the remainder of his time with the Chiefs before then. 

“The Brumbies is home for me, and Canberra is home for my family, so to know that my future is set and that I’ll be back at the Brumbies. It’s so exciting. Right now, I’m completely focused on the Rugby World Cup and the Wallabies, and I look forward to getting back to the Chiefs and ripping in with them, but again, knowing I’ll be returning to a place and a club I love is really special,” he said. 

White re-signed with Rugby Australia in order to take part in this year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan and has since gone on to become the nations first-choice scrum-half ahead of Will Genia. 

Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar is excited for White’s return and believes that he will bring a lot to the squad. 

“We are thrilled to have Whitey returning to the Brumbies,” head coach, Dan McKellar commented. “He’s a world-class player, a player who demands very high standards of himself and expects the same of others. His work ethic, competitive nature and leadership will be so important to our squad when he returns,” he said. 

During his first stint with the Aussie franchise he scored 162 points over 67 appearances before playing two seasons with French Top 14 outfit Montpellier and is currently starring for Exeter in the English Premiership

Having made his Wallabies debut in 2013, he has gone on to feature in 29 tests and is set to play his 30th game for his country when they take on Uruguay on Friday where he is in the starting line-up as the Aussies look to end the pool stages with another win and having a chance to finish top of Pool C. 

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