Ulster confirm McLaughlin role change
February 7, 2012
Brian McLaughlin will move into a new role at Ulster next season © Getty Images
Irish side Ulster have confirmed that they are on the lookout for a new coach after announcing that current boss Brian McLaughlin will move to a role within the academy.
Reports last week suggested that McLaughlin's days at Ulster were numbered with the likes of John Kirwan and Matt Sexton lined up to replace him. But while Ulster are in the Heineken Cup knockout stages and with rumours of Irish wing Tommy Bowe returning to the province for next season, McLaughlin will step aside with his contract up at the end of the season.
And director of rugby David Humphreys has confirmed that while they are unsure who will take the helm at Ravenhill next season, McLaughlin will not be the man to lead Ulster into the 2012-12 campaign. "While we are not yet in a position to confirm who our Head Coach will be for next season, I can confirm that Brian will remain in a senior coaching position at the club, moving to work with Gary Longwell in our Academy on a permanent basis," Humphreys said. "The option of the Academy role offered Brian long-term stability and the security to leave his teaching job in order to coach full time."
"We are aiming to make Ulster Rugby a leading force in European rugby and to do that we need to develop our Academy system and elite player pathway. Brian has a proven record and a genuine interest in this area and this role offers him an opportunity to shape the future of Ulster Rugby. Our youngsters will benefit enormously from his experience."
McLaughlin has since moved to clarify his position over his move to a role with the province's academy. In a statement he said, "Last year I sought and was successful in securing a permanent contract with Ulster Rugby. This allowed me the job security to leave my teaching post and follow a professional coaching career. At the same time, I extended my role as Head Coach for the 2011-12 season.
"While I will be leaving the post of Head Coach in June this year I will not be leaving the staff and in fact will take on a senior coaching role within the Ulster Academy. This is an important role which I take very seriously and one to which I will bring extensive experience. It also indicates the investment we are making in our future players.
"I look forward to finishing this season strongly with the senior team and am committed to my new role developing the Ulster players of the future."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"Wayne Barnes' decision to give Dylan Hartley his marching orders was brave but crucially it was the correct call." Graham Jenkins reports from the Premiership final
"We wanted to get the rugby spirit across to people, I firmly believe we have been in the thick of it." Tom Hamilton speaks to the ESPN crew on the final live broadcast
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
"The fans could not be happier with the opposition and it adds an exciting element to a game that is shaping up as a thriller." Ben Kay previews the Premiership final showdown