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Ulster part ways with longest-serving coach McFarland

NEWS: Ulster face a massive upheaval as they confirmed the departure of head coach Dan McFarland ahead of the challenging tour to South Africa.

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After joining the club in 2018, McFarland has been the longest-serving head coach for the province in the professional era.

During his time at the helm, Ulster reached the play-offs in the United Rugby Championship, Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.

They also secured a final spot in the then PRO14 (now URC) in 2020.

According to various media reporters, McFarland’s exit has been inevitable.

However, the timing of the exit is somewhat of a shock.

McFarland’s tenure ended with a 17-19 defeat to Welsh side Ospreys.

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Ulster CEO, Jonny Petrie, said: “We would like to thank Dan for his determination in driving forward the professional squad over the past six seasons, and I would like to wish him and his family the best for the future on behalf of all at Ulster.”

The change to the coaching set-up is with immediate effect, with Ireland Under-20 head coach, Richie Murphy, to link up with the province as interim head coach until the end of this season following the U20 Six Nations.

Bryn Cunningham, Head of Rugby Operations and Recruitment at Ulster, will also assume greater management responsibilities within the performance function during this time.

Assistant coach, Dan Soper, will oversee operations next week ahead of Ulster facing Dragons at Kingspan Stadium in Round 11 of the URC.

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Petrie continued: “With Richie coming to Ulster in the coming weeks, ahead of the squad travelling to South Africa, our focus will be on consistently performing to the best of our abilities at this crucial time of the year.”

Ulster travel to South Africa in Round 12 and 13 where they will face Sharks (March 23) and Stormers (March 30).

*Additional Source: UlsterRugby

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