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Ex-Bok and a Lion the final pieces in Scarlets' coaching ticket

By Ian Cameron
Jarred Payne - Getty Images

The Scarlets have confirmed their coaching lineup for the upcoming 2023-24 season, featuring some notable additions to the team.

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As exclusively revealed by RugbyPass last month, former Ireland and British & Irish Lions international Jared Payne has been appointed backs and attack coach.

The New Zealand born Payne enjoyed a successful playing career before transitioning to coaching. He started his rugby journey at Waikato and played for prominent Super Rugby teams such as the Chiefs, Crusaders, and Blues.

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In 2011, Payne joined Ulster and went on to represent Ireland 20 times. He also had the honor of touring New Zealand with the British & Irish Lions in 2017. After retiring due to injury in 2018, Payne took on the role of Ulster’s Defence Coach, working alongside current Scarlets Head Coach Dwayne Peel. Payne recently began his coaching stint at Clermont Auvergne, leading their defense. At the Scarlets, he will serve as the backs coach and provide support to attack specialist Peel.

Albert van den Berg, the former Springboks lock, will step in as the forwards coach, taking over from Ben Franks who has returned to New Zealand.

Van den Berg is highly regarded in South African rugby as a top forwards and lineout coach. He has been with the Emirates Lions since 2021 and boasts an impressive record of 51 caps for the Springboks.

Van den Berg began his coaching journey at the Sharks Academy, working as a forwards coach and lineout specialist, before eventually becoming an assistant coach for the senior Vodacom Cup squad. He then spent three years as an assistant coach for the Canon Eagles in Japan before achieving success in the Currie Cup with Griquas.

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Meanwhile, Ulster’s Shane Carney is to become the Scarlets’ new head of athletic performance.

Carney, currently the athletic performance and conditioning coach at Ulster, previously worked with Peel at Ulster and held the position of head of strength and conditioning at Hull Kingston Rovers rugby league side.

The additions of Van den Berg, Payne, and Carney complement the existing coaching team, which includes Dwayne Peel as the Head Coach, Gareth Williams overseeing the Defense, and Emyr Phillips handling Contact Skills & Scrum.

Scarlets Head Coach Dwayne Peel said: “Albert, Jared and Shane are exciting additions to our coaching team and we look forward to welcoming them to Parc y Scarlets this summer.

“I know Jared and Shane well from my time with Ulster. I worked with Jared for three and a half years and he is a quality coach who will be great for our talented crop of young players, in particular. Similarly, Shane, who is a highly-rated performance coach with a real focus on detail.

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“Albert brings with him a wealth of experience from his time coaching in Japan and South Africa. He has the experience of playing more than 50 Tests for the Springboks and comes here with a real pedigree as one of the most highly regarded forwards and lineout coaches in South Africa.”

Peel took the opportunity to thank Ben Franks for his contributions to the Scarlets. He said that Franks played a significant role in cultivating a strong pack culture within the team and played a key part in developing the club’s talented group of young front five forwards.

Franks now embarks on the next chapter of his career back in New Zealand.

 

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