Clayton McMillan has laid a solid foundation with the Bay of Plenty Steamers and now a new face will take the reins and look to build on that success.
Bay of Plenty Rugby has announced Daryl Gibson will step up as head coach of the Steamers this year after McMillan moved on to coach the Chiefs.
Gibson brings a wealth of coaching experience, having previously been an assistant coach with the Glasgow Warriors, Crusaders and Māori All Blacks, and most recently head coach of the New South Wales Waratahs from 2016 to 2019.
"It's a real privilege to come back after coaching overseas and to contribute once again to coaching in New Zealand and the Bay of Plenty," Gibson said.
"I've really enjoyed living and working in the Bay over the last year and now being able to lead the Steamers is a great opportunity."
Bay of Plenty Rugby chief executive Mike Rogers said: "We are really pleased to announce a coach of Daryl's international quality and experience as the new head coach of the Steamers.
"Over the past year living in the Bay of Plenty, Daryl has already made a big impression and shown a willingness to help rugby in the Bay as we continue to grow.
"One of the reasons for appointing Daryl was to have him on board to help grow and develop our coaches alongside helping our players achieve Super Rugby and International representation."
Gibson said he had always kept an eye on what was happening in Bay of Plenty.
"Clayton [McMillan] did an excellent job over his tenure and, in particular, the last two years. The new coaching group has a real opportunity to build on the success and I am very excited to work with the current group of players and to see how far we can take them."
Gibson will start immediately and is eager to get stuck into the role.
"I look forward to getting around to talk to all our contracted players, whether at Super or club level. They are scattered around the country so it makes it a little difficult but that's the landscape of professional rugby nowadays and players go where there are opportunities.
"I'm also looking forward to seeing some club rugby and some of the younger players coming through. The performance of the Bay of Plenty Toa players has been a real positive and those players are now contributing to the Steamers and getting chances at Super level."
Joining Gibson in the Steamers coaching group is former Hurricanes assistant coach Richard Watt. After finishing the 2019 Super Rugby season with the Hurricanes, Watt joined Tonga's coaching staff for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
"Sometimes timing and opportunity align and with Richard making the decision with his family to relocate to the Bay, we were able to gain a quality coach and person to not only develop our players but play a role in developing coaches in the Bay," Rogers said.
"Richard brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with him to the Bay, which will be a great benefit to the team and the union.
"We are still working through confirming the rest of the coaching group to add to these two quality appointments."
The Steamers will begin their 2021 National Provincial Competition campaign in August. The draw is yet to be released.