DARYL GIBSON'S decision to join the Waratahs is no surprise. Last month new Waratahs head coach Michael Cheika was in New Zealand talking to prospective assistants, and Gibson was on that list.
So when Cheika sounded him out, Gibson, who had recently resigned from the Crusaders after four seasons as Todd Blackadder's back-line assistant, was happy to listen.
He will join the Waratahs next month for pre-season training.
Gibson, in Britain assisting Jamie Joseph with the All Blacks Maori team, will hope this new role reinvigorates a career that stagnated with the Crusaders.
Although Blackadder believed he needed to demote Gibson to defence coach because he was not getting the best out of his back-line's attacking talent, Cheika has no such misgivings.
Gibson, a former All Blacks and Crusaders midfielder, will be responsible for the team's attacking skills and continuity play.
''Daryl is the guy who most fitted the vision we have for the team and for NSW rugby,'' Cheika said. ''The new values that we are setting down he believes in already, and that was the first thing we considered.
''To enact the change we want to make here, we need to change everything. I wanted someone fresh; someone that guys here haven't had much to do with or been coached by. We need to change the voices, change the approach. Daryl has excellent skills in the areas we wish to improve, in the continuity of attack and around the ruck.
''He also has a very rounded approach to the game, having coached in Super Rugby and in the UK and against teams from Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and all over Europe. He's been a successful player and a coach.''
Speaking from Britain, Gibson said the chance to join the Waratahs was a fantastic opportunity. ''I was attracted to the role by Michael Cheika's vision for the team,'' he said. ''His passion and commitment to turning the Waratahs into a winning team made it an easy choice.''