More Uncertainty At Ulster As New Head Coach Situation Still Unresolved

Uncertain.

Ulster Rugby last month confirmed that Dan McFarland will take the reins as their new Head Coach next season on a three-year contract, replacing the outgoing Jono Gibbes.

The highly-rated Englishman is currently working with the Scottish national team as assistant coach to Gregor Townsend, and has had spells with Connacht, Glasgow, Ireland U20 and Ireland Wolfhounds.

Before it was revealed McFarland was indeed taking up a role with Ulster, Scotland had announced his departure. But noted he would serve a nine-month notice period before leaving his job with the Scottish Rugby Union.

Ulster however, believed they would have their man in place in time for the new season despite this statement, according to multiple reports. Turns out that may not be the case.

At today’s squad announcement for their upcoming summer tour, Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has insisted McFarland will indeed serve his notice period, and remain with the SRU until January.

“He’s still working with us for the next nine months and he’ll be on tour,” Townsend said

“Carl Hogg’s joined us for our coaching meetings and him and Dan will share responsibilities on this tour.

“We see that working well, but we need to look ahead and see who will replace Dan when he does go to Ulster.

“The plan is nine months, which is 21 January before the Six Nations and we have to have someone in before then.”

What this means for Ulster remains to be seen, but not having your new head coach in place for the new season is ridiculous. Given everything they’ve been through, McFarland needs to be in place ASAP so he can start rebuilding and planning for the future head. More uncertainty is the last thing the northern province needs.