Chris Gibbes: Ospreys forwards coach to leave for Wellington Lions

Chris Gibbes
Chris Gibbes was Japan forwards coach at the 2007 Rugby World Cup and has also worked with Georgia

Ospreys forwards coach Chris Gibbes will leave at the end of the season to return to his native New Zealand as head coach of the Wellington Lions.

New Zealander Gibbes has signed a three-year deal with the Lions, who play in New Zealand's Mitre 10 Cup.

His new role starts on 1 June, so he will still be with the Ospreys if they reach the 2016-17 Pro12 play-off final.

Gibbes said after almost four years in Swansea "the pull of home was too strong".

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Pro12 highlights: Ospreys 29-7 Connacht

He added: "I'm definitely a better coach and a better person thanks to my time in this environment, and I'll always be grateful for he chance I've had to work with some quality people, but the pull of home was too strong.

"We've been through some tough times here over the last few years, but all with a long-term view to build something.

"We are starting to see the signs of that hard work coming through and I believe that this group can only continue heading in one way. I'm proud to have played a small part in that."

Gibbes joined Ospreys in 2013 after spending 10 years with Waikato.

Ospreys managing director Andrew Millward said: "There's no denying his influence here since 2013 and, importantly, how we have helped him develop at the same time."

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