Sport

Ulster coach McFarland signs contract extension until 2025

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland during the warm up before the European Rugby Challenge Cup Semi Final match at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, Leicester. Picture date: Friday April 30, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story: RUGBYU Leicester. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire...Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images..
Shaun Casey

ULSTER head coach Dan McFarland has extended his contract with the province and will remain at the helm until at least 2025. McFarland took over as boss back in August 2018 and the contract extension now means he is Ulster longest serving coach of the professional era.

While Ulster remain trophyless since 2006, McFarland led them to the last four of the inaugural United Ruby Championship where they lost to Stormers in dramatic circumstances.

Ulster held a five-point lead and with the opposition reduced to 14 men it looked like McFarland's men might hold out. That wasn't the case however and a late try and conversion by Stormers saw them through to the showpiece with a two-point victory.

Since signing for the club four years ago, McFarland has overseen a number of historic away victories and also guided Ulster to the Round of 16 in the Heineken Champions Cup.

“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,” said McFarland.

“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 hailed the influence McFarland has had on the club “both on and off the pitch.

“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 club since joining, both on and off the pitch,” Petrie added.

“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.”

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