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Neil Doak Set To Join Ulster Academy Coaching Team

Neil Doak Set To Join Ulster Academy Coaching Team

Neil Doak is pictured during a training session with the Georgian squad in Dublin last year ©INPHO/Gary Carr

The IRFU and Ulster Rugby are delighted to announce that former Ulster player and coach, Neil Doak, will make a welcome return to the provincial Academy coaching structure when he takes up the position of Elite Player Development Officer (Backs) early next year.

A former scrum half who made 85 appearances for the province before spearheading the attack and backs unit of the senior men’s team for nine years between 2008 and 2017, Doak will be responsible for identifying and developing young players for the professional game in Ulster.

In addition to his experience at Ulster, Doak’s coaching credentials also include roles with Ireland, Worcester Warriors, Georgia during the 2020 Autumn Nations Cup, and steering Emerging Ireland to victory in the IRB Nations Cup alongside current Ulster head coach Dan McFarland.

Commenting on his return to the provincial coaching set-up, Doak said: “I am delighted to be back at Ulster and to avail of the opportunity to work within the pathway again and, along with the other Academy staff, help to develop the talented players within the province and build on the strong foundations already in place.”

IRFU Head of Elite Player Development, Peter Smyth, commented: “Neil is another great addition to the pool of coaches supporting emerging talent in Ireland.

“His coaching experience at senior level give him a great insight into what it takes to be a good professional, and his knowledge of the game will be invaluable to the players he will be working with in the Ulster pathway.”

Ulster Rugby Academy Manager Gavin Hogg added: “Neil is set to bring a vast amount of experience and knowledge, both as a player and a coach, into our Academy structure when he joins up with us in the new year.

Talent development, especially amongst Ulster-born players, is at the heart of what we are trying to achieve.

“I have no doubt that Neil will play an important role in furthering our work through the player pathway in the months and years ahead, and we look forward to welcoming him back to Ulster.”

Currently involved in the coaching set-up at Campbell College in Belfast, Doak will see out the current Danske Bank Schools Cup campaign as he transitions into his new role within the Ulster Rugby Academy.