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'If I get this team winning, I keep a job': DC's incredibly classy response to questions over his precarious future

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1st March, 2024
11

Darren Coleman won’t blame the Waratahs’ wretched early season draw if the NSW board opts against renewing the under-the-gun coach’s contract beyond the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific championship.

Despite his side starting their campaign with an away trip to Queensland and three games in Australia against tough New Zealand outfits, Coleman agrees it’s best for the Waratahs to make a coaching call by round five, or thereabouts, rather than uncertainty lingering at the club.

“I’ve got no gripes or any issues on that front,” Coleman said on the eve of the Waratahs’ challenging round-two clash with the defending champion Crusaders in Melbourne

“If I get this team winning and we’re doing well, then I keep a job.

“If I don’t, I don’t. It’s just part of the game, unfortunately.

“If we don’t perform or we’re significantly under-performing, then 100 per cent you’ve got to question the coach because that’s my job; to get the team performing.”

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In his first two years at the helm, Coleman has transformed the Waratahs from a depressingly winless outfit in 2021 – under now-Crusaders coach Rob Penney – to back-to-back quarter-finalists in 2022 and 2023.

It seems unfair his three-season tenure could be decided by results over a gruelling one-month spell.

 (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

But Coleman gets it.

“My contract’s up (at season’s end), so there’s got to be a time frame on when they’re making that decision,” he said.

“And they’ve been really open and supportive of me. Everyone’s just really focused on trying to win. So it’s nothing for me.

“I’ve got full confidence that the board will make the right decisions for the players.

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“I make decisions on players’ futures and the board make decisions on coaches’ futures. That’s how it works.”

Like the Waratahs, who opened the season with a 40-22 defeat to the Reds, the Crusaders are coming off a loss after going down 33-29 to the Chiefs last week in Hamilton.

“Historically, their form shows they get sharper towards the pointy end. So if you gave me a choice, I’d take them now,” Coleman said.

“But they didn’t look too slow last weekend. They took the Chiefs to the wire at the Chiefs.

“We’re under no illusions to the enormity of the challenge, but traditionally we’ve matched up well, and only two years ago we got that upset against them.

“So we’re going down full of energy.”

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