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Payne to join Scarlets as coaching reshuffle continues

By Jon Newcombe
Ulster defence coach Jared Payne before the United Rugby Championship match between Ulster and Munster at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Former Ireland centre Jared Payne is set to join Scarlets as attack coach as part of a coaching reshuffle at the region.

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Payne, 37, spent 11 years with Ulster as a player and a coach before joining Clermont Auvergne as defence coach last summer.

In January, he stepped up to become interim head coach for one match when Jonno Gibbes was sacked but reverted back to his original role when Christophe Urios was appointed a matter of days later.

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New Zealand-born Payne, who won 20 caps for Ireland and toured his native country as a British & Irish Lion in 2017, will replace Lee Blackett at Parc y Scarlets.

Gareth Williams remains as defence coach and Payne will take responsibility for the attack.

Blackett made a positive impact at the Scarlets since joining the Welsh region on a short-term deal back in November following Wasps’ demise.

But according to a report in The Rugby Paper, the former Wasps head coach has landed a new job at Bath following the departure of attack coach Joe Maddock.

Scarlets will also have a new forwards coach for next season having snapped up the signature of South Africa World Cup-winning former lock Albert van den Berg.

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Van den Berg is one of the most highly-rated forward coaches in South Africa and has decided to move on from troubled URC outfit the Lions.

The 49-year-old, who won 51 Springbok caps including three in the triumphant 2007 World Cup campaign, will replace former All Blacks prop Ben Franks who is believed to be heading home to New Zealand.

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