Tuesday 12 December 2017

Gibson-Park aiming to build on last season's success with Hurricanes

Leinster's Jamison Gibson-Park. Photo: Sportsfile
Leinster's Jamison Gibson-Park. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

As debut seasons go, Jamison Gibson-Park's first - and only - campaign with the Hurricanes was pretty memorable, even if he didn't quite play as often as he would have hoped.

Gibson-Park's problem was that TJ Perenara was ahead of him in the pecking order. Perenara is a quality operator and finished last year as the All Blacks' first choice scrum-half, with Aaron Smith's form continuing to dip.

Nevertheless, Gibson-Park played his part in the Hurricanes winning their first Super Rugby title but featuring for just three minutes from the bench in the final victory over the Lions summed up his frustrations.

There is a strong Irish connection at the 'Canes with former Ireland forwards coach John Plumtree assistant to the highly-regarded Chris Boyd, while so too is Munster legend Jason Holland.

Advice

When Leinster came calling, there were plenty of people that Gibson-Park could seek advice from, including the 'Canes pair as well as Isa Nacewa and Hayden Triggs.

"It was pretty tough because I was leaving straight away post Super Rugby so I had to keep my mind on the job with the Hurricanes," Gibson-Park explained.

"It was pretty tough to leave, there is no doubt about that. Coming off winning the championship is obviously something pretty special. Hopefully I'll get that same sort of winning feeling here.

"Dutchy (Holland) is very good, he's been class for the Hurricanes. He's got a pretty good rep as you will know. He works pretty well with Chris Boys and John Plumtree.

"They've got a pretty good coaching team there. I expect they'll be in and around the top position at the end of the season again."

Irish Independent

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