Jared Payne Set For Coaching Role With Ulster

He is one of the smartest players in modern day rugby.”

Ulster Rugby Operations Director Bryn Cunningham has revealed that Ireland international Jared Payne has been handed a coaching role with the province, in the wake of Les Kiss’ departure.

Cunningham also confirmed that Head Coach Jono Gibbes that will now have full authority on team training, selection and on-field performance, with off-field matters falling under the remit of himself.

While Les Kiss took on much of the responsibility for coaching the team’s defensive structure, Cunningham confirmed that, in the immediate term, this duty will be divided among the current expertise of Gibbes and Assistant Coach Dwayne Peel, along with input from one of the most experienced members of the playing squad – Jared Payne.

“Obviously coaches at that level, particularly Jono’s level, will have been competent at defence over a period of time. He will have his own views on what needs done there. Dwayne, from a back’s perspective, will be very au fait with set piece defence.” Cunningham said.

Jared Payne is also in there helping out at the moment. He is still injured at present and unavailable to play, but he has got a fantastic rugby brain.

He is one of the smartest players in modern day rugby. I know Joe Schmidt holds him in incredibly high regard in relation to how he operates and how he runs that backline.”

Payne hasn’t played since last summer’s Lions tour and has been suffering from migraines. A date on his return is unknown, but it’s excellent to see him handed a role within the club as they look to get their season back on track.