Clayton McMillan to stay with Chiefs as assistant coach through to 2023

The Chiefs have locked in Clayton McMillan as their assistant coach for 2022 and 2023.

McMillan, the Māori All Blacks and Bay of Plenty head coach, was appointed interim Chiefs coach in February 2020 for this year’s Super Rugby campaign, while Warren Gatland leads the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created major uncertainty over whether the Lions’ tour will be able to go ahead raising questions about Gatland's involvement with the Chiefs in 2021.

Chiefs chief executive Michael Collins was delighted to have McMillan signed with the club for a further two years.

“We are thrilled he is committed to staying on with the Chiefs for the 2022 and 2023 seasons as an assistant coach. Clayton has a great record of results from coaching the Bay of Plenty Steamers and the Māori All Blacks.

“He is a proven leader who understands our Chiefs culture. Clayton and Gatty have formed a good working relationship and this combination is going to be fundamentally important for the growth and development of our club.

“Clayton has already had a positive impact since he joined us and we are excited to see him lead the Chiefs this coming Super Rugby season,” Collins said.

Chiefs head coach Warren Gatland was pleased to have McMillan continue in the coaching group.

“I’m absolutely delighted that Clayton has been appointed in a long-term role with the Chiefs. He is extremely well respected in the game and what he has achieved with Bay of Plenty and the Māori All Blacks gives him the credit he deserves coming into these roles as head coach for this season and continuing as assistant coach when I return.”

McMillan was grateful for the opportunity to continue his coaching journey with the Chiefs.

“I am stoked to have signed on for another couple of years post-2021, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity. The club has shown faith in my ability by extending my contract at this early stage, which demonstrates an organisation with a clear vision for its future and I am excited to be a part of that.”

McMillan was excited by the prospect to be mentored by Gatland.

“I have already formed a good relationship with Gats. He was extremely welcoming in 2020 and allowed me to come in and see the organisation from the top down. We have caught up numerous times since and we will continue to build on our relationship.”

“Personally, a significant attraction for me coming to the Chiefs was to have the opportunity to work alongside Gats. He is one of the world’s most successful coaches.”