Brian McLaughlin leaves Ulster Rugby coaching position

Brian McLaughlin led Ulster to a Heineken Cup final against Leinster in 2012
Brian McLaughlin led Ulster to a Heineken Cup final against Leinster in 2012

Former Ulster Rugby Head Coach Brian McLaughlin is to leave his position with the provincial set-up to start his own rugby consultancy business.

McLaughlin has been working as Ulster Schools' Academy Coach since 2012 but will now act as a coaching consultant with City of Armagh RFC.

He has agreed a five-year arrangement with the All-Ireland League club.

McLaughlin led Ulster to the Heineken Cup final in 2012 and helped them reach the semi-finals of the Pro12 in 2011.

The ex-RBAI teacher joined Ulster in 2009, having been Skills Coach to the Ireland senior side under Eddie O'Sullivan between 2005 and 2008.

He had also coached Ireland Under-21s and been successful at schools' level, taking teams to nine Schools Cup Finals, winning five of them.

He was in charge when Ulster won their first ever European away match in England and the province recorded nine home wins out of nine in the competition during his tenure, qualifying for the knockout stages in two of his three years in charge.

McLaughlin will join up with a new coaching team of Alex McCloy and Ulster player, Willie Faloon, at Armagh.

Ulster Team Manager Bryn Cunningham paid tribute to a coach who "has made a significant impact on all aspects of rugby in Ulster".

"As Head Coach he was part of the team that helped re-establish the province as one of Europe's major players. In the past three seasons he has also been hugely effective in his specialist role in the Academy, sharing his experience at schools, provincial and international levels with young players across the province.

"Personally, I have very fond memories of Brian coaching me at Ireland U21 Level where we had great success under his tutelage."

"I would like to thank him for his contribution to Ulster Rugby and wish him well in his new venture."