Gibbes ready for Leinster challenge

Forwards coach, Chris Gibbes, is looking forward to some sibling rivalry as the Ospreys take on his younger brother's Leinster side this weekend.


Gibbes, who joined the region at the start of the season after a decade coaching Waikato in New Zealand as well as working within the All Blacks age-grade set-up and with the Japanese and Georgian national squads is enjoying his first season in Wales:

"It's been great, I'm loving it here. It's very different to what I'm used to in terms of coaching but I'm really enjoying it. The Northern Hemisphere is very different to the Southern Hemisphere in the way that we look at the game. Even though the principles are the same , the way it's looked at and thought about is different and there are different impacts such as how much you have to travel here for games, but I'm really enjoying the challenge.

“The opportunity to play in an extended competition and coach for pretty much 12 months of the year was a real selling point to me in coming to Swansea.  Then looking at the Ospreys set up and talking to them about where they wanted to go, there were some pretty strong parallels to what I had been doing in Waikato so it was exciting to be able to come and test myself and better myself as a coach in a pretty tough environment with such a great team.

“It's a really good group of guys here to work with and we're motivated to do well so it's cool to be involved in the team. Living in Swansea has been great too, the people here are fantastic and it's similar to Waikato in a lot of ways so it's been a very easy transition".

The forward coach's younger brother Jonno Gibbes holds the same role at this weekend's opponents Leinster and Chris is hoping to even the scores as the two face off tonight.

"It'd be nice to get one over on him over there, as we have currently drawn and lost one game against Leinster this season. There's been a bit of banter this week between us and I'm sure it will intensify over the next few days!

“We definitely both want to win, there's no doubt about it. He's been in this game a wee bit longer than me in terms of coaching up here so he's probably a bit more streetwise but we will be going all out for the win. Even though we won't be progressing any further in this year's competition we owe it to ourselves, our sponsors and especially to our fans to get it right and go all out to get it"

The New Zealander is very aware of the challenges that await the Ospreys in Dublin though:

"We know it's not going to be easy, Leinster are a team that can hurt you from anywhere if you let them. Against a team like that you can't slack off even for a second as they can hurt you from any part of the field. So this weekend it's a matter of making sure that upfront we get the momentum  we need so that we can disrupt and stop their flow of ball and make sure that we win quality ball that allows us to go out and play how we want to play.

“They're an exciting side to play but training has gone pretty well this week, it's been a short turn around playing Sunday and then Friday but the boys are in a good space so hopefully all goes well. It'll be disappointing to have a beer with Jonno after the game if we don't get the performance we want!"