Allen Clarke has landed himself a fresh rugby role 140 days after his axing by Ospreys was officially confirmed on December 30 following a legal stand-off. The Irishman was initially pushed out of his head coaching position at the Guinness PRO14 outfit on November 26.
However, it wasn’t until late December that the warring factions reached a settlement that resulted in Clarke formally exiting the Swansea-based club who have since appointed Toby Booth to take over for the 2020/21 season.
The ex-Ireland hooker hasn’t moved very far in Wales to make his way back into the game, though, surprisingly linking up on Monday evening with League 2 West Central side Ystradgynlais who are located less than 20 miles north of the Liberty Stadium.
A statement released on the grassroots club’s social media channels read: “The club can confirm that former Ireland, Northampton Saints and Ulster player Allen Clarke will work with the club as a coaching consultant.
“Allen has been head coach at the Ospreys, Ireland Under-20s and Ireland A. This role will see Allen support the coaching team at senior, junior and mini level. Allen will work on strength and conditioning, player development and specific positions supporting the whole column adopt a ‘one-club’ policy.”
Ystradgynlais, who have also appointed Andy Davies as head coach, were ninth in League 2 West Central when the 2019/20 league campaign was abandoned in March. They had four wins in 15 outings and were 35 points behind leaders Aberavon Quins.
Clarke’s exit from Ospreys wasn’t the first time in recent years that an Irishman had been forced out of a Welsh region just halfway through a three-year contract.
Bernard Jackman – another old-time Ireland hooker – had been unveiled to great pomp and ceremony at the Dragons in summer 2017. Eighteen months was all he managed, poor results leading to the plug being pulled just halfway through the job he was contracted to do.
The same halfway fate befell Clarke at the Ospreys following a savage run of negative results at the start of the 2019/20 season and his route back into the sport now also mirrors Jackman as the ex-Dragons boss dropped down into the Leinster junior leagues to help out Bective Rangers when he returned to coaching.
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