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McFarland Praises Ulster’s Departing Players And Coaches

McFarland Praises Ulster’s Departing Players And Coaches

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland gives a team talk before a recent GUINNESS PRO14 game ©INPHO/Craig Watson

Ulster Rugby have confirmed that Peter Nelson, Ian Nagle, Jack Owens and David Busby will leave the province this summer.

This news follows the confirmed departures of Darren Cave, Rory Best (both retired) and Caleb Montgomery, who is joining Worcester Warriors, in addition to scrum coach Aaron Dundon and support staff Kevin Geary and Chris Hagan.

Nelson made his Ulster debut against Leinster back in December 2011 and has played 60 times across eight seasons, scoring 47 points. The versatile 26-year-old back has played at out-half, centre, full-back and on the wing during his stint with his native province.

Nagle joined on loan from Leinster back in November and went on to make 11 appearances in white. Busby and Owens attended Portadown College and Campbell College Belfast respectively, and are both products of the Abbey Insurance Ulster Academy. They have made a combined seven appearances for their home provincial side.

Commenting on the departures, Ulster head coach Dan McFarland said: “A lot has been said about Rory and Darren in recent weeks, and rightly so – they have both been magnificent servants to Ulster Rugby and will leave a lasting legacy.

“Pete is a player who can be very proud of what he has contributed during his career at Ulster Rugby, which spans eight years including his time in the Academy. His work ethic and resilience, particularly when coming back from some difficult injuries, are a great example to others, and he displayed no shortage of skill as well.

“We will also say goodbye to David, Jack and Caleb who have come through the pathway here in Ulster, and also Ian Nagle, who made a positive contribution since joining us on loan in November.

“They haven’t played as much as they would have liked but they have played crucial roles for us within the squad and have driven their own standards, which permeates through the squad.”

He added: “Aaron is moving on, but the work that he’s done, particularly in developing our young front row players, has been really good. We’ve taken considerable steps forward in that area. Kevin and Chris have also played integral roles within the set-up for a number of years and leave us in a better place due to their involvement.

“We’d like to thank all those who are departing for their professionalism and commitment during their time with us, and wish them well in their future endeavours.”



Darren Cave – 229 appearances
Rory Best – 221 appearances
Peter Nelson – 60 appearances
Ian Nagle – 11 appearances
David Busby – 5 appearances
Jack Owens – 2 appearances
Caleb Montgomery – 1 appearance


Aaron Dundon – Scrum Coach
Kevin Geary – Senior Strength & Conditioning Coach
Chris Hagan – Senior GPS Analyst