Friday 28 April 2017

Inspired Gibbes signing can transform Ulster

Jono Gibbes. Photo: Sportsfile
Jono Gibbes. Photo: Sportsfile
Tony Ward

Tony Ward

When the rumour mill had it that Jono Gibbes was set to replace Pat Lam in the Connacht hot-seat, I thought, wow, the Westerners couldn't have done any better. That rumour was soon scotched and the void remains.

This season we've seen the difference Rassie Erasmus and Stuart Lancaster have made at Munster and Leinster respectively.

And Gibbes can have the same impact in Ulster.

The former All Black's capture is a huge statement of intent from the northern province. Although Ulster are still in the mix for a Pro12 play-off place, it's been a disappointing season, with an underwhelming Champions Cup campaign.

The arrival of Springbok flanker Marcell Coetzee has lifted spirits on the playing side but the teaming of Gibbes alongside Les Kiss brings together a formidable back-room think tank.

If Ulster can draft in a couple of heavyweight props, watch them go from here.

Irish Independent

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