Dungannon RFC have confirmed that recently retired Ulster prop Justin Fitzpatrick has agreed to a two-year contract as the club’s director of rugby.
Justin Fitzpatrick was involved in the Dungannon set-up as a technical advisor last season, as well as playing for the first team.
Commenting on Fitzpatrick’s new role, Dungannon club chairman Victor Scarlett said: “We will benefit from Justin’s extensive playing experience with London Irish, Dungannon, Castres Olympique, Ulster and Ireland.
“He was a member of the Ulster team that became the first Irish side to win the European Cup in 1999 and was also an important member of the Dungannon side that became the first Ulster club to win the All-Ireland League Division 1 title in 2001.
“His dedication to succeed in coaching, allied with his work ethic and enthusiasm, will enable Dungannon to compete at the highest level in Ulster and Irish club rugby.”
Fitzpatrick will be assisted at Dungannon by his former London Irish, Dungannon, Ulster and Ireland team-mate Kieran Campbell, who has returned to the Tyrone club following his time with Connacht.
Campbell is back at Dungannon in a player-coach capacity and his experience both on and off the field will prove invaluable to the squad.
Dungannon are eager to gain promotion to Division 1A of the All-Ireland League after retaining our Division 1B status last term.
With this goal in mind, the coaches and players are working very hard and have already made significant strides during a pre-season regime which has included a team bonding weekend and an encouraging 31-12 win over Ballymena.
Fitzpatrick was pleased to see ‘Gannon win their opening Ulster Senior League game at Stevenson Park on Saturday, with tries from Jason Bloomfield, Glen Telford, Glen Sinnamon and Tim Smith helping them to a 29-12 victory over Instonians.
Scarlett added: “The appointment of Justin Fitzpatrick is a positive commitment to the future of club rugby in Dungannon and Ulster, and we have no doubt that we will have a successful and exciting time under Justin’s leadership.”
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