Ulster land legendary Super Rugby head coach to take the reigns next season


Ulster’s search for a permanent new head coach looks to be over with reports emerging that they have landed a legendary Super Rugby coach to take the reigns next season.

Ireland U20s head coach Richie Murphy is currently in charge on an interim basis following Dan McFarland’s abrupt departure.

Murphy has enjoyed some good results since taking over, with Ulster sitting 7th in the United Rugby Championship, following victory over Benetton on Friday night.

But it doesn’t look like he will be offered the job on a full-time basis with Japan-based journalist Rich Freeman reporting that Frans Ludeke will leave Kubota Spears at the end of the season to take over at Ulster.

Ludeke is a hugely successful coach, having led the Vodacom Bulls to back-to-back Super Rugby titles in 2009 and 2010 during an impressive run with the South African side who now ply their trade in the URC alongside Ulster.

The veteran coach won 78 of his 149 games in Super Rugby, ranking him among the top five match-winning coaches in the competition’s history. He left in 2015 and has since transformed Kubota Spears, guiding them to a historic first-ever Japan Rugby League One title in 2023.

Ludeke has also worked as an assistant for the Springboks and would bring a wealth of experience to Belfast.

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