Former Ulster and Ireland hooker, Allen Clarke, has been confirmed as the province's new forwards coach for the 2014/15 season.
Clarke has been successful as both a player and a coach. He won eight international caps and was a key member of the Ulster team that won the European Cup in 1999.
Following his retirement from playing due to injury he moved into coaching and established the Ulster Rugby Academy.
He was appointed assistant coach to Mark McCall and helped guide Ulster to the Magners League title in 2006 .
The following season he left Ulster to take up a position as High Performance Manager with the IRFU and was responsible for helping to build Irish Rugby's age grade structure and developing young players, many of whom have gone on to become Ireland internationals.
Following a successful five years, Clarke returned to his native province in 2012 as Elite Performance Manager.
He has further developed the Academy and has expanded the scale and scope of the province's age grade programme.
Clarke, who is renowned for his work rate, his attention to detail and his knowledge of forward play, has also coached at international level - coaching Ireland A and more recently the Emerging Ireland team in 2013 IRB Tbilisi Cup.
He will continue to oversee the Elite Performance Pathway and Hughes Insurance Ulster Academy in his new role.
Commenting on his new position, Clarke said: "I'm immensely passionate and proud to be involved with my home province once again, and look forward to supporting the coaching team and players to be the best we can be. The player movement in the pack has been well documented, however, the players that we have brought in together with those already here have shown a real focus in training and respect for work.
He added: "Continuing strategic support in Ulster's Elite Performance Pathway is important and I know that the progress made over the past two years will continue to grow under the guidance and expertise of our Academy coaching team - Kieran Campbell, Brian McLaughlin, James Topping, Michael Black, David Drake, Matt Maguire, Amy Davis, Matthew Godfrey and David Minion."
Following the completion of discussions between EPCR, the Ligue Nationale de Rugby, Premiership Rugby and PRO12 Rugby to reschedule the six European club matches which were postponed due to the Paris attacks, it has been agreed by all parties that the games will be played on the weekend of January 8/9/10, 2016 in advance of round 5 of the European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.
Connacht Rugby and the IRFU are pleased to announce the extended contract of Ireland international Kieran Marmion. The 23-year-old, who was first capped for Ireland in the summer of 2014, has put pen to paper on a new two-year contract with Connacht Rugby.
Looking forward to the new GUINNESS PRO12 season, Connacht captain John Muldoon said: "We've a lot of younger guys who have big years ahead of them and a few big name signings who will hopefully be able to fit into the system and work hard among the ethos of Connacht Rugby."
Irish Rugby TV was at the launch of the GUINNESS PRO12 and we caught up with Jamie Heaslip, Pat Lam, John Muldoon, Matt O'Connor and Rory Sheridan of Diageo as the new sponsor gets ready to kick off an exciting season.
Out-half Dan Parks had a vital role in Connacht's historic Heineken Cup triumph in Toulouse, kicking two penalties, a drop goal and the touchline conversion of Kieran Marmion's try. He spoke to Rob Murphy after the game.
Rob Murphy caught up with Gavin Duffy after Connacht's inspirational defeat of Toulouse in the Heineken Cup, with the Mayo man giving an insight into how they produced such a high quality performance against the French giants.
Young scrum half Kieran Marmion was one of Connacht's star performers in their famous 16-14 Heineken Cup victory away to Toulouse, scoring a crucial second half try and picking up the man-of-the-match award.
Giving his reaction after Connacht's historic 16-14 win away to Toulouse, head coach Pat Lam said: "The belief's been there, we knew that this performance was not far away. To come here in a massive game with the side they put out is an unbelievable effort (from us) and I'm so proud of the guys."
Fergus McFadden, who helped to launch the Ulster Bank League awards in Dublin, spoke afterwards about his recovery from a fractured hand, previewed Leinster's back-to-back games against Northampton Saints and reflected on his involvement in the GUINNESS Series with Ireland.
Out-half Craig Ronaldson, who has made a successful transition from Ulster Bank League rugby with Lansdowne to a professional contract with Connacht, talks about the step up to this level of rugby, the importance of the league in providing game-time and a shop window for players and he also previews the province's back-to-back clashes with Toulouse.
Connacht head coach Pat Lam was proud of the performance his players produced in their 23-17 Heineken Cup defeat to Saracens, but he was left frustrated by some of referee Pascal Gauzere's decisions in a tight second half.
The Irish launch of the 2013/14 Heineken Cup took place in Dublin last week and Irish Rugby TV caught up with Sky Sports commentator Stuart Barnes to chat about his favourite Heineken Cup memories and get his thoughts on this season's tournament.