Chris Gibbes stays as Waikato ITM Cup coach

Waikato Rugby Union has reappointed Chris Gibbes as head coach of the Waikato ITM Cup team for a further two years.

Gibbes has enjoyed a successful tenure so far since taking over as head coach in 2009, leading the province to two national provincial finals and recently picking up the Ranfurly Shield in Waikato's first shield challenge since 2007.

Outside of his Waikato role Gibbes has extended his coaching experience in different environments, including a six-month stint in 2011 with the Georgia national team. He has also recently been appointed as an assistant coach for the 2013 New Zealand under-20s team.

Waikato Rugby Union Chief Executive Graham Bowen said he was thrilled to have secured the services of Gibbes for the next two seasons.

"Chris is a passionate Waikato man who epitomises the traditions of Waikato Rugby.  He continues to go from strength to strength as a coach and is currently doing a great job with a young Waikato side after several personnel losses in recent years. We look forward to watching his continued progress with this group."

Gibbes said he is delighted to be able to continue with the Waikato Rugby Union.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my first four seasons as coach of Waikato. It is my home province so naturally I have a lot of passion for the job, but also it has been a pleasure to work within such a well-respected organisation."

He says he is also looking forward to carrying on his work with the young talent coming through the Waikato system, as well as assisting club coaches during the club season.

"2012 was a rebuilding season of sorts after losing a lot of experience. Our young group of players, many having their first taste of rugby at this level, showed some positive signs and I am excited to be able to work with them again as we reap the benefits of the experience they gained in this year's ITM Cup."

- Hamilton News

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