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Gibson parts company with Crusaders
ESPN Staff
October 17, 2012
Leicester's Daryl Gibson, Leicester Tigers v London Wasps, Heineken Cup Final, Twickenham, England, May 20, 2007
Daryl Gibson was a regular in Leicester colours during his four-year spell with the Premiership club © PA Photos
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Former All Blacks international Daryl Gibson could be in line for a return to the Premiership having quit as assistant coach of Super Rugby side the Crusaders.

The 37-year-old has served as the Crusaders' backs coach for the past four seasons but has opted to seek a fresh challenge and further his career as a result of a shake-up that would have seen his focus switched to defence.

Gibson, who formed part of a dominant Crusaders side as a player before venturing north with first Bristol then Leicester and Glasgow, has signalled his intent to pursue opportunities overseas in a bid to bolster his coaching CV.

He was offered the head coach role at Leicester in the wake of Marcelo Loffreda's departure in 2008 but opted in favour of a return home to New Zealand and while the Tigers are now on a much firmer footing, his availability is set to be of interest to Premiership clubs and their PRO12 and Top 14 rivals.

"I'm really positive about what the future holds," he told APNZ. "If you look at Super Rugby, most of the head coaching roles are sewn up so there won't be many opportunities there, it is likely to be two or more years for something in New Zealand in particular to come up, so my options are to forge a career somewhere else and to hopefully come back and fight for one of those spots."

Reflecting on his decision, he added: "I'm disappointed that I'm missing out on the opportunity to work with a group of high-calibre players in a great environment. I guess that any coach would tear their arm off for that opportunity. I guess a lot of people would be thinking, 'man, what an idiot, he's leaving something special', but when I really weigh it up, the particular role I was offered wasn't something I was willing to do right now."

Gibson, who is likely to be replaced by one of three other former Crusaders in the form of Canterbury coaches Tabai Matson and Aaron Mauger or Tasman assistant coach Leon MacDonald, will be in the UK next month working as an assistant coach of the Maori All Blacks.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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