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McFarland Departs Ulster Rugby As Murphy To Take Over On Interim Basis

A view of Ulster flags 25/1/2019

Ulster Rugby and the IRFU can confirm that Dan McFarland will step down from his position as the province’s head coach.

Having joined Ulster in 2018, McFarland has been their longest-serving head coach of the professional era.

The team regularly secured play-off rugby in the United Rugby Championship and EPCR competitions during his time at the helm, including reaching the PRO14 final in 2020.

Ulster Rugby CEO Jonny Petrie said:

We would like to thank Dan for his determination in driving forward the professional squad over the past six seasons, and I would like to wish him and his family the best for the future on behalf of all at Ulster Rugby.”

The change to the Ulster senior men’s coaching set-up is with immediate effect, with Ireland Under-20 head coach Richie Murphy (pictured below) to link up with the province, following the U-20 Six Nations, as interim head coach until the end of this season.

Richie Murphy speaks to his team after the game 3/1/2024

Bryn Cunningham, Head of Rugby Operations and Recruitment at Ulster Rugby, will also assume greater management responsibilities within the performance function during this time.

Assistant coach Dan Soper will oversee operations next week ahead of Ulster facing the Dragons at Kingspan Stadium in round 11 of the BKT United Rugby Championship.

Petrie continued: “With Richie coming to Ulster in the coming weeks, ahead of the squad travelling to South Africa, our focus will be on consistently performing to the best of our abilities at this crucial time of the year.”