Allen Clarke to coach Ulster forwards for coming season

Former Ireland hooker will also continue role with academy

Former Ireland and Ulster hooker Allen Clarke will coach the forwards at his former province this season. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Former Ireland and Ulster hooker Allen Clarke will coach the forwards at his former province this season. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Mon, Aug 18, 2014, 16:03

Former Ireland and Ulster hooker Allen Clarke has been confirmed as the province’s new forwards coach for the coming season.

Clarke won eight international caps and was a key member of the Ulster team that won the European Cup in 1999, but was forced to retire due to injury.

He moved into coaching and established the Ulster Rugby Academy and was appointed assistant coach to Mark McCall and helped guide Ulster to the Magners League title in 2006 .

The following season he left Ulster to take up a position as high performance manager with the IRFU and was responsible for helping to build Irish rugby’s age grade structure and developing young players.

Following a successful five years, Clarke returned to his native province in 2012 as elite performance manager.

Clarke has also coached Ireland A and more recently the Emerging Ireland team in 2013 IRB Tbilisi Cup. He will continue to oversee the elite performance pathway and academy in his new role.

“I’m immensely passionate and proud to be involved with my home province once again, and look forward to supporting the coaching team and players to be the best we can be,” said Clarke. “The player movement in the pack has been well documented, however, the players that we have brought in together with those already here have shown a real focus in training and respect for work.”

Ireland assistant coach Les Kiss will take charge of Ulster this season after the departure of Mark Anscombe.

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