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Ulster have finally get headcoach

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PRO 14    

Ulster have finally been given access to their new headcoach

The Scottish Rugby Union has reached an agreement with Ulster and the IRFU to allow Forwards Coach Dan McFarland to begin work with the club – starting tomorrow.

McFarland, who joined the Scotland coaching team from Glasgow Warriors in 2017, was announced as Ulster Head Coach in April but was contractually obliged to remain in post for a nine-month notice period (ending in January), having originally signed a deal to the summer of 2019.

The governing body and Guinness PRO14 side have, however, reached a mutual agreement on terms to allow him to take up his new role immediately.

In a statement this afternoon, the PRO14 side stated: “The parties reached a mutual agreement on terms this weekend, allowing Dan to take up his new role as Head Coach of Ulster.”

McFarland’s replacement, Danny Wilson, started work with the Scotland coaching team earlier this month, bringing eight-years’ elite-level coaching experience in the Guinness PRO14 (steering Cardiff to European Challenge Cup glory earlier this year) and Wales U20, a side he guided to a third and second-place finish in the 2012 and 2013 Junior World Championships.

Commenting on his move to Belfast, McFarland said:

“I am really excited that I will be taking on the Ulster Head Coach role. I know first-hand from my years visiting with Connacht and Glasgow the passion and fervour that makes playing in front of Ulster fans so special.

“It’s a club with a great history and I welcome the challenge of being a part of their future.”

Bryn Cunningham, Ulster Rugby’s Operations Director, welcomed the appointment.

“Dan was our number one candidate so we’re obviously very happy to have secured his services for the next three years. Dan’s CV is hugely impressive and he commands great respect within the game.

“He enjoyed successful spells with Connacht and Glasgow, and the fact that Gregor brought him into the Scotland set-up speaks volumes for how highly he rates him.”

It’s a second boost in the last number of weeks for Ulster Rugby, who confirmed that Australia international Henry Speight has agreed to join the Province on a short-term contract earlier this month.

The 30-year-old back-three star will move to Kingspan Stadium later this month in a similar deal to that which saw fellow Brumbies player Christian Lealiifano arrive in Belfast last season.

Speight will return to Australia on 31st December, in advance of the 2019 Super Rugby season.

The Fijian-born speedster has played over 100 Super Rugby games for the Brumbies and has represented the Wallabies on 19 occasions.

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Ulster have finally been given access to their new headcoach