Māori All Blacks coach looking to soak up Warren Gatland's expertise during Chiefs coaching stint

Clayton McMillan believes the Chiefs will benefit next season from the collaboration between himself and Warren Gatland.

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Clayton McMillan is expecting to use Warren Gatland’s coaching style as inspiration next season. Source: 1 NEWS

McMillan expects to use the template already laid out by Gatland in 2021, praising the current head coach's efforts this season.

"Part of the appeal of the job is to work alongside one of the worlds most experienced coaches, and we've seen the benefit of his input with the way that the chiefs have played through the beginning of this season." 

McMillan has been the coach of the Māori All Blacks since 2018 and the director of Bay of Plenty Rugby since 2015 making him no stranger to leadership in the top ranks of New Zealand rugby.

Labelling the short-term contract as a "unique situation", McMillan intends to use it to familiarise himself with Gatland and his coaching style while also making his own mark on the Chiefs side next season.

"For me it's about getting over there and getting to know Warren on a more personal level, understanding the direction he wants to take the team, and adding my own flavour and giving the players confidence that we are aligned and that actually two voices are better than one."

McMillan has his sights set on a full-time coaching position in Super Rugby and sees the one year contract with the Chiefs as a platform to prove his worth.

"All you can do - a bit like a player - is put your best foot forward, and if you do that then hopefully people recognise that and you get an opportunity at the next level."

McMillan will take the reins in October this year, once his commitments with Bay of Plenty Rugby have concluded.