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Ian Humphreys Returns To Ballymena As Backs Coach

Ian Humphreys Returns To Ballymena As Backs Coach

Ian Humphreys is pictured with BBC commentator Jim Neilly during Ulster's Heineken Champions Cup pool game away to La Rochelle last January ©INPHO/James Crombie

Ballymena RFC have brought in Ian Humphreys as their senior team’s new backs coach for the 2023/24 season.

Humphreys is no stranger to Eaton Park having attended Ballymena Academy and played for Ballymena, prior to a professional playing career that saw him become an Ulster centurion.

He also had spells at Leicester Tigers and London Irish, and won caps with Ireland at age grade level and with the national ‘A’ and Sevens teams.

Since retiring as a player, the 41-year-old former out-half has maintained strong links with the professional game as a player agent. He is director of Anzo Sports, his own sports management company which he launched in 2018.

Humphreys joins a Ballymena coaching set-up headed up by Andy Hughes, who is entering his second season in charge of the Braidmen. They won eight of their games to finish seventh in Energia All-Ireland League Men’s Division 2A last term.

While confirming the addition of Humphreys as backs coach, a Ballymena RFC statement said: “Ian’s experiences will add valuable knowledge to our coaching team, and assist in ensuring that the next generation of players reach their full potential.

“We are delighted that Ian is ‘coming home’ to Eaton Park, and I’m sure all the club members will give him a warm welcome back.”

Pre-season training for Ballymena senior squad’s begins next Tuesday (July 18). Strength & conditioning coach Phil Campbell has been working with the players in the off season.

They are building towards their opening Ulster Rugby Premiership fixtures and the start of the Energia All-Ireland League on Saturday, October 7, when they will host Navan in a mouth-watering Division 2A opener.