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Waratahs coach fires parting shot at fair weather fans following sacking

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Tuesday May 21, 2024

The NSW Waratahs have parted ways with head coach Darren Coleman following a challenging 2024 Super Rugby campaign.

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Currently cemented to the bottom of the table with two wins from twelve matches, the Waratahs look set for a major reset with new coaching candidates already emerging.

Among the names listed as potential coaches, former Tahs and Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has been linked through reports in the Australian media. Other names include Stephen Hoiles, Nathan Grey and Simon Raiwalui.

Speaking at his departing press conference, Coleman discussed his passion for the team and his disappointment at the lack of success in 2024.

“For me, this is more than a job; it becomes all-encompassing.

“And sometimes, unfortunately, to the detriment of other things in your life… I’m sorry, and I’m embarrassed I couldn’t progress the good work and the on-field results of my year one here to further success with the team. I feel especially bad I couldn’t deliver for all the passionate and loyal Tahs fans and supporters.”

Switching his focus to those fans that have taken aim at him and the team, the coach didn’t mince his words.

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“The ones (fans) that jump on and off from time to time and prefer to be negative – I’m not so sad to see the back of them.”

Acknowledging that results were not up to standard, Coleman felt there were opportunities for the team that simply were not taken.

“I’m frustrated. I feel this year could have turned out a lot different with a bit of luck at crucial times around the front row injuries and that run of four games (with three close losses) early in the season,”

“I feel some success in those, or a result or two, may have seen a different season unfold.

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“I’m proud I did my best to stay in the fight under tricky circumstances at times, and with mounting pressure, I didn’t quit.

“It doesn’t mean what you guys write sometimes doesn’t hurt. But I’m definitely more resilient, more thick-skinned off the back of it.

“But I’m genuinely proud that I stuck it out and went to the end.”

Admitting that he could have blocked out the noise from those outside the camp, the 51-year-old said he would take the learnings with him going forward.

“I’m probably not thick-skinned enough. I tried to drown that out as much as I could, but over time – yeah, that does get at you a bit.

“I probably got a false dawn with year one. The wins came pretty easy early on, and what hit home this year is the fine margins in the higher levels of the game. There’s definitely no bad blood on my end. I’m not slinging and throwing any rocks on the way out.” He concluded.

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