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Inside out: Gibson wants position switch for Horne

Grand designs … Waratahs attack coach Daryl Gibson relaxing at Allianz Stadium.

Grand designs … Waratahs attack coach Daryl Gibson relaxing at Allianz Stadium. Photo: Brendan Esposito

MICHAEL CHEIKA is not the only figure shaking things up at the Waratahs this year.

Cheika's new attack coach, former All Blacks utility and Crusaders assistant coach Daryl Gibson, has revealed he wants to move Wallabies outside-centre Rob Horne to No.12 this season.

''From what I've seen of [Horne] he's certainly been impressive and he's got a lot to offer Waratahs rugby and Australian rugby and perhaps that opportunity may come at inside-centre,'' Gibson said.

''I've only been here a couple of months but certainly some of the skill sets he's got lends nicely to that position … he's quite an abrasive, robust sort of player and will give you a lot of go-forward in the middle of the park, probably what Ben Tapuai does for the Reds and Pat McCabe for the Brumbies.''

Horne has carved out a niche at outside-centre over the the past five years and was Wallabies coach Robbie Deans's starting choice in the three-Test series against Wales in June.

He was left out of the Wallabies squad during the Rugby Championship three months later and had his sights set on a spring tour revival before injuring his hamstring in the Shute Shield semi-final for Southern Districts.

There were calls earlier in the week for Horne to be dropped from the Waratahs starting line-up this season to allow for Israel Folau and Adam Ashley-Cooper but Gibson, a former inside-centre, has been quietly hatching a plan to move the 23-year-old across to No.12.

''He largely reflects the style of game we want to play - a really abrasive, go-forward game,'' Gibson said. ''He'd be ideal there.''

Expect more surprises from Moore Park with Gibson and veteran coach Alan Gaffney working alongside Cheika this year.

Gibson's appointment is proof Cheika could be serious about selecting outside the box. The pair hit it off over a beer at an airport hotel on the outskirts of Christchurch last year.

Gibson, who resigned last year after four seasons at the Crusaders, was talking to English club Leicester and had not given a thought to working in Australia.

But a call from Deans, who coached Gibson at the Crusaders and knew he was available, changed that. The Wallabies coach sent Gibson's number to Cheika and the pair met.

''I was pretty much decided on going to the UK … I tried to put him off … [but] I remember thinking I really like this guy, I like what vision he has for the team,'' he said.

''And I knew what sort of team the Waratahs had on paper. I remember going home to my wife saying 'I could really work with that man'. Bizarrely out of nothing, came an opportunity.''

Not to mention a handful of valuable insights. Apart from his plan for Horne, Gibson said he was struck by how wedded Australian rugby is to structured play.

''In New Zealand, we're very instinctive and we tend to pass the ball to someone and they will do something special to create play,'' he said. ''Whereas here you structure to make play … while I'm here I'd like to try to get the players to recognise more situations and play more instinctively.''

He has great respect for the Australian style and disputes the widely-held perception a gulf exists between the Wallabies and All Blacks.

''The Australians should have won that Test up in Brisbane. When they squeezed the All Blacks for time and space they looked much better,'' Gibson said.

He is impressing on players the importance of perfecting position-specific skills - another strength, according to Gibson, in the New Zealand conference - and helping Cheika build a team culture as strong as the Crusaders. Two months into his Australian adventure, Gibson said there was a vast improvement on the Waratahs of 2012.

''One of the criticisms of the Waratahs last year from a lot of the New Zealand teams was that the Waratahs were unfit,'' he said.

''We've done a lot of work this year on our fitness and we believe we're going to be a far better.''

ge.robinson@smh.com.au

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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