Jason O’Halloran insists he has nothing lined up after end of season

Attack coach says Glasgow Warriors need to be more accurate when they make line-breaks in order to kick on during the second half of season

Jason O’Halloran is not likely to miss the wind and rain of Glasgow in deep mid-winter when he returns to New Zealand. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson
Jason O’Halloran is not likely to miss the wind and rain of Glasgow in deep mid-winter when he returns to New Zealand. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson

DEPARTING Glasgow Warriors defence coach Jason O’Halloran insists that he has no plans as to what he is going to do next with his decision to return to his native New Zealand at the end of this season purely down to his desire to be closer to his family.

O’Halloran’s departure was revealed last week, with his replacement – former Ireland centre and current Gloucester defence coach Jonny Bell – being announced earlier today [Monday]. Warriors head coach Dave Rennie is also leaving in the summer to take charge of Australia, but O’Halloran says that is unrelated to his own decision.

“I just want to be close to my kids, it’s as simple as that,” said O’Halloran. “I’ve nothing lined up at this stage, nothing at all, but out of courtesy to the club I didn’t want to be oohing and aahing, and in three months telling them I have something back home in New Zealand and they miss out on a decent attack coach in the meantime. I just wanted to give them as much time as possible to find the best replacement they could get.

Glasgow Warriors appoint Jonny Bell as attack coach for next season

Tennent’s Premiership Leaderboard – after 21st December matches

Murray Redpath named in Scotland Under-18s training squad

“At the same time, for me, it means I am committed to finding something at home rather than taking the soft option of coming back here again when I need to be at home with my kids.”

O’Halloran’s family originally joined him in Scotland when he was appointed attack coach for the national team in 2015 but then moved back to New Zealand when he was shifted westward to Glasgow in 2017, after Gregor Townsend’s elevation to the Scotland top job.

Concerns have been expressed about Warriors losing some edge as a result of having two of the club’s most senior coaching figures effectively working their notice period, but O’Halloran dismissed this notion.

“I know that if I don’t do a decent job here, nobody is going to want me,” he reasoned. “It is no different to a player, we are all professionals here and if you want a job you have to do it while you are here.

While Warriors have struggled for consistency this season, O’Halloran believes the team are beginning to show their true mettle – even if his own area of expertise was hardly to the fore in last weekend’s gritty win over Edinburgh.

“You are only as good as your last season at your last job, so I need my part to go well, and I trust in the players we have got to turn the corner,” he said. “I thought that had happened two weeks ago at La Rochelle, but we had a blip last week [in the return leg against the French side at Scotstoun].

“However, there was a lot of character on the field on Saturday [against Edinburgh] and that can take you a long way. We can get better tactically and skill-wise, but you can’t buy that sort of tenacity we had.

“The difference between us this year and in the past is that our conversion from line-breaks to tries has been well down – but, at the same time, that has been a silver lining because almost without fail, every game we have played we have had more line-breaks than the opposition. If we can just be a little more efficient, more clinical and a bit more patient, we will get the benefit eventually.

“We have had a couple of challenges the year, La Rochelle away is as tough as you could wish to face and we got a result there after being well down, so what we are capable of, and we are looking forward to the challenge this weekend. But we also know that we are going to have to be better again to win.”

Tennent’s Premiership Leaderboard – after 21st December matches

About David Barnes 4026 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.