Jono Gibbes named Ulster's new head coach

The former All Black previously coached at Leinster

BY Newstalk 09:50 Monday 13 February 2017, 9:50 13 Feb 2017

Jono Gibbes Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Jono Gibbes is to become Ulster's new head coach at the start of next season, the province have announced.

The former New Zealand player is currently the forwards coach with Clermont Auvergne in the Top 14. He previously held a similar position at Leinster.

Gibbes joined Leinster in 2008, helping the squad to win three Heineken Cup titles during a six-year spell. He moved to France in 2014 and was part of a coaching set-up that guided Clermont to the Top 14 and Champions Cup finals in his debut season.

Ulster's Director of Rugby Les Kiss, was one of the reasons for Gibbes' return to Ireland, he admitted.

"The respect that I have for Les, as a coach and as a person, was one of my main reasons for making this decision. He really sold his vision of where he wants to take Ulster over the next few years."

"Ulster is a team that I know well, having come up against them on a number of occasions. The Clermont-Ulster games this season gave me an insight into the strengths of the squad and it's exciting to think that I'll be part of that environment from next season.

Kiss himself, was delighted, with Gibbes' appointment for next season.

"Jono's CV speaks for itself and I know that he's looking forward to joining Ulster and working with the team. Jono has vast experience on both the playing and coaching fronts, having worked in many different environments such as Super Rugby, Pro12, the French Top 14 and European competitions."

"Since his retirement from playing, Jono has had an integral role in the coaching teams of two of European rugby's most successful sides. He was a key part of the Leinster set-up that won three Heineken Cups in four years and he has continued to be hugely successful during his time in France."

Kiss also confirmed that more announcements to the coaching team will be made in the coming weeks.


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