2024 Ulster Rugby vs Dragons

Ulster Rugby Parts Ways With Long-Term Coach Dan McFarland

Ulster Rugby Parts Ways With Long-Term Coach Dan McFarland

Ulster Rugby parted ways with long-term head coach Dan McFarland following disappointing results in the 2023-2024 BKT URC and Investec Champions Cup.

Feb 21, 2024 by Philip Bendon
Ulster Rugby Parts Ways With Long-Term Coach Dan McFarland

Ulster Rugby head coach Dan McFarland is set to depart his post effective immediately, per reports in the Belfast Telegraph.

McFarland, who is the longest-tenured Ulster coach in the professional era, is believed to have been relieved of his duties by the province ahead of the team’s training Wednesday morning.

The Belfast based side has endured a mixed bag of results thus far this season, with the head coach coming in for criticism.

Heightening the tension around the squad, the 51-year-old caught plenty of heat for his post-match comments following Ulster’s Round 10 URC loss to Ospreys.

“Ultimately, the game came down to two instances, both where we were in control,” he said. “One in their 22, where they got an intercept pass, and the second one was at the end of the game, where we were in total control, and a referring decision called a scrum on the back of a maul.”

Clearly frustrated by the call, McFarland said, “I have literally no idea what that was about, you see that every week. I’m going to ask and find out because, ultimately, those two instances decided the game in the Osprey’s favor."

The Ospreys loss came four weeks after the province had shipped 95 points to Toulouse and Harlequins in the Investec Champions Cup to limp out of the competition in the pool stage.

Though recent results have been mixed, Ulster has reached the Pro14 final in 2020 and twice progressed to the Champions Cup quarterfinals, as well as the Challenge Cup semifinals in 2021, and led the Stormers into the 84th minute in their 2022 URC semifinal.

Next up for Ulster is a March 2 clash with the Dragons in the URC, before they travel to South Africa to face the Stormers and Sharks.

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