Allen Clarke appointed as Ulster Rugby forwards coach

Allen Clarke
Allen Clarke was part of Ulster's 1999 European Cup winning squad

Former Ulster and Ireland hooker Allen Clarke has been named as the province's forwards coach for the 2014-15 season.

Clarke won eight international caps and was a key member of the Ulster team which won the European Cup in 1999.

After retiring because of injury, Clarke moved into coaching and established the Ulster Rugby Academy.

He was assistant to former Ulster coach Mark McCall and will join interim director of rugby Les Kiss, Neil Doak and Jonny Bell on the coaching team.

As part of McCall's backroom team, he 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 building Irish Rugby's age grade structure and developing young players, many of whom have gone on to become Ireland internationals.

Following a successful five years, Clarke returned to his native province in 2012 as Elite Performance Manager.

He has further developed the Academy and has expanded the scale and scope of the province's age grade programme.

Clarke, who is renowned for his work rate, his attention to detail and his knowledge of forward play, has also coached at international level - coaching Ireland A and more recently the Emerging Ireland team in the 2013 IRB Tbilisi Cup.

He will continue to oversee the Ulster 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.," commented 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."

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