Ulster head coach Dan McFarland will remain at the helm of the province’s senior men’s squad until at least 2025 after signing a contract extension, sealing his status as Ulster’s longest-serving coach in the professional era.
Following a season which saw Ulster secure a semi-final place in the inaugural United Rugby Championship, a number of historic away wins, and the opportunity to battle it out in the Heineken Champions Cup’s last-eight, McFarland has renewed his commitment to lead the Ulstermen.
Since joining the province in August 2018, the 50-year-old former prop has shown his ability to blood young talent coming through the Ulster pathway, and pair it with established international talent, to build a squad with an impressive depth and ability to perform.
McFarland, who holds the record for the most games in charge of Ulster, commented: “I am delighted to have extended my contract with Ulster Rugby, and I would like to thank Jonny Petrie for all his support over the last four years.
I love my job here, which is only possible because of the good people I get to work with. It is through the growth, competitiveness, and teamwork of the support team and the players that we continue to compete for championships.
However, the fact remains our ultimate goal is to win championships. I am looking forward to driving the process of finding, guiding, and supporting the people capable of doing that for this province and its passionate supporters, who truly share in our joy and pain.
“The challenge ahead is immense but that is why it is so exciting. For me, it has the feel of unfinished business.”
Ulster Rugby CEO Petrie added: “I couldn’t be more pleased that Dan has chosen to extend his stay with us – I think that it’s really clear the impact that he has had on the province since joining, both on and off the pitch.
We’ve made some impressive progress as a squad over the past couple of years, with play-off rugby against the best teams in Europe, and beyond, now a regular occurrence.
“Dan and I both see the clear potential here over the next few years and I look forward to continuing to build together on those ambitions for Ulster.”