Super Rugby: Clayton McMillan to coach Chiefs in 2021, with Warren Gatland on British & Irish Lions duties

Māori All Blacks and Bay of Plenty Steamers coach Clayton McMillan has been appointed as interim head coach of the Chiefs for the 2021 Super Rugby season. 

McMillan has signed a one-year deal with the Hamilton-based franchise, while regular Chiefs coach Warren Gatland leads the British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa.

When Gatland was appointed Chiefs coach he had already agreed to lead the Lions to South Africa in 2021.

Gatland's effect has already been noticed at the Chiefs, who have three wins in their first four games this season, and are sitting second in the New Zealand conference behind the three-time defending champion Crusaders.

But McMillan comes into the role with plenty of coaching experience, although he's never coached at Super Rugby level before.  

He helped Bay of Plenty to the Mitre 10 Cup Championship title last year and has been coaching the Māori All Blacks since 2017. 

"Super Rugby has certainly been a goal of mine and I am honoured to be appointed as the interim head coach for the Chiefs," said McMillan. 

"There is a fantastic pool of gifted athletes to work with along with an experienced and talented management group."

Chiefs chief executive Michael Collins commended McMillan on his appointment.

"We are excited for Clayton to lead the Chiefs in 2021," said Collins.  

"He is a talented coach and was a stand-out candidate. He boasts an excellent track record of developing players and delivering success. Not only during his tenure as the Director of Rugby for the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union but during the Māori All Blacks and New Zealand Provincial Barbarians campaigns. 

"The results he has achieved reflects his leadership ability.

"Clayton is no stranger to the Chiefs team having already worked alongside assistant coaches Roger Randle and David Hill and a number of the Chiefs playing group."

McMillan will take up the role after he has completed his Mitre 10 Cup duties with the Bay of Plenty.

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