RUGBY: Jono Gibbes to take up head coaching role with Waikato on leaving Ulster

Jono Gibbes
Jono Gibbes

Ulster head coach Jono Gibbes will become Waikato boss in his native New Zealand when he leaves the Irish province at the end of this season.

On Friday, Ulster said Gibbes would be leaving due to family reasons after the end of the current Guinness PRO14 campaign.

The 41-year-old played 64 games for the New Zealand provincial club between 2000 and 2007 before being appointed as Leinster's forward coach a year later. He moved to Ulster from French Top 14 side Clermont.

The Ulster coach described his Waikato appointment as an "honour".

"With the opportunity comes the responsibility to do the colours justice. That has to be the first objective for myself and for the 2018 team," Gibbes told the Waikato website.

Gibbes admitted to the News Letter on Friday that he would need to be employed when he returned home.

"I will need to be employed. I have a young family to support.

"Any further employment I get is because I am back in New Zealand, it is not because I am leaving Ulster to do that."