Chris Whitaker
Date of birth (1974-10-19) 19 October 1974 (age 47)
Place of birthSydney, New South Wales, Australia
Height179 cm (5 ft 10 in)[1]
Weight84 kg (13 st 3 lb)
SchoolSydney Boys High School
Rugby union career
Position(s) scrum-half
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1996–2005 Randwick ()
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2006–2009 Leinster 59 (25)
Super Rugby
Years Team Apps (Points)
1997–2006 NSW Waratahs 118 (60)
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1998–2005 Australia 31 (10)
Teams coached
Years Team
2016–2018
2018
2018–2021
2021-
Montauban (co-head coach)
Sydney Rays
Waratahs (assistant)
Waratahs (interim head coach)

Chris Whitaker (born 19 October 1974) is an Australian professional rugby union coach and former international player. As of 2018 he is head coach of the Sydney Rays in Australia's National Rugby Championship,[2] and the interim head coach of Super Rugby side the New South Wales Waratahs,[3]

Whitaker began his professional playing career in 1997 as a scrum-half for the Waratahs, where he remained for ten seasons. He also played for the Wallabies, but his Test career there was constrained for many years by the incumbent scrum-half and Australian captain, George Gregan. As such, he got minimal international game time but was in the match-day squad for many a year. He captained the Wallabies in a World Cup Match against Namibia in Adelaide in 2003. In 2006 Whitaker moved to Ireland where he played four seasons for Leinster before hanging up the boots and taking up coaching.

Early life and career

Whitaker was born in Sydney and started playing rugby at Sydney Boys High School, where he graduated in 1992.[4] He played his club rugby at Randwick.

Rugby career

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Whitaker joined Super Rugby side the NSW Waratahs in 1997, and gained his first Australian cap the next year. He played a total of 31 games for Australia and scored 10 points.[citation needed] Whitaker left the Waratahs in 2006, and joined Leinster Rugby in Ireland. He won the Celtic League in 2008 with Leinster before winning the Heineken Cup as vice-captain with the side in May, 2009.[citation needed] The final was, in fact, his last professional game before retirement.

Coaching

Whitaker began his coaching career as an assistant with Leinster before moving to France with his wife and three daughters in 2012 to become the defence coach under Michael Cheika for Stade Français,[5] where he remained for two seasons.[6]

He joined Pro D2 club RC Narbonne as assistant coach under Justin Harrison in 2013.[6][7] Whitaker was signed to coach Montauban in 2016.[6] After a two-year stint there he left the co-head coach role at Montauban and returned to Australia.[3]

Whitaker took on the backs coaching role under Daryl Gibson at the Waratahs ahead of the 2019 Super Rugby season.[3] He was also appointed head coach of the Sydney Rays for the 2018 NRC season.[2]

Whitaker was appointed as NSW Waratahs interim head coach alongside Jason Gilmore on 28 March 2021 after the sacking of head coach Rob Penney.[8]

References

  1. ^ "2001 Australian Wallabies squad - British & Irish Lions Tour". rugby.com.au. Australian Rugby Union. Archived from the original on 22 September 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b Phillips, Sam; Newman, Beth (5 August 2018). "One Percenters: Reds' off-season roller coaster ramps up". Rugby.com.au. Archived from the original on 5 August 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Waratahs legend Chris Whitaker returns to NSW as backs coach". News. 3 August 2018. Archived from the original on 4 August 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  4. ^ Australian Sporting Representatives. Sydney Boys High School.
  5. ^ "Whitaker lands coaching job in Paris with Cheika". The Sydney Morning Herald. 20 April 2010. Archived from the original on 5 August 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "Chris Whitaker, nouvel entraîneur pour deux ans". La Dépêche du Midi (in French). Toulouse. 6 April 2016. Archived from the original on 12 May 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Narbonne locks in Wallabies Justin Harrison and Chris Whitaker". The Australian. 31 March 2014. Archived from the original on 5 August 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Struggling NSW Waratahs sack Kiwi coach Rob Penney". Stuff. 2 October 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2021.