Ulster announce Jono Gibbes as their new head coach

Ulster have announced the appointment of Jono Gibbes as their new head coach.

Gibbes is currently the forwards coach at Clermont having previously held a similar position at Leinster.

He has agreed a two-year deal from the start of next season, and will work with current director of rugby Les Kiss.

In a six-year spell at Leinster as assistant coach, Gibbes helped the squad to three Heineken Cups and two PRO12 titles.

The 40-year-old will replace Neil Doak at the Kingspan Stadium.

In a statement Kiss has praised the "wealth of knowledge" Gibbes has amassed in his coaching career, and says a further announcement on the makeup of their new coaching team will be made in the coming weeks.

“A review of the coaching structure is ongoing ahead of next season and the appointment of Jono as Head Coach is the first part of that process,” said Kiss.

“A further announcement will be made in the coming weeks, which will focus on getting the right balance in our coaching team.”

Gibbes said that there were many contributing factors in his move back to Ireland:

“The respect that I have for Les (Kiss), 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.

“With 6 years at Leinster and 3 years at Clermont in the Top 14, I've been afforded many different experiences, working with some very talented coaches and players. I hope to apply what I've learned to the role at Ulster and my family and I are looking forward to integrating into a strong community in Belfast.”

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