Dan McFarland: Ulster coach signs contract extension which will keep him at Irish province until 2025

Dan McFarland: Ulster coach signs contract extension which will keep him at Irish province until 2025

Dan McFarland’s Ulster side suffered a last-gasp defeat by the Stormers in last weekend’s United Rugby Championship semi-final

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland has signed a contract extension which will keep him at the Irish province until at least 2025.

McFarland has been in charge of Ulster since August 2018 and his new deal means he will become their longest-serving coach in the professional era.

Ulster have made progress under McFarland but remain without a trophy since 2006.

“I am delighted to have extended my contract with Ulster Rugby,” he said.

“I would like to thank [Ulster chief executive] Jonny Petrie for all his support over the last four years.

“I love my job here, which is only possible because of the good people I get to work with. It is through the growth, competitiveness, and teamwork of the support team and the players that we continue to compete for championships.”

The announcement of McFarland’s new contract comes six days after the huge disappointment of his side’s last-gasp United Rugby Championship defeat by the Stormers in Cape Town.

Ulster led going into second-half injury time in South Africa but conceded a converted try as the home side snatched a 17-15 victory.

The Irish province also suffered European disappointment this season following an impressive pool stages campaign as a second-leg home defeat by Toulouse in the last 16 of the Champions Cup last saw them exit after they had beaten the then defending champions in France.

“The fact remains our ultimate goal is to win championships,” added McFarland.

“I am looking forward to driving the process of finding, guiding, and supporting the people capable of doing that for this province and its passionate supporters, who truly share in our joy and pain.

“The challenge ahead is immense but that is why it is so exciting. For me, it has the feel of unfinished business.”

Ulster chief executive Petrie spoke of the “clear impact” McFarland has had on the club.

“We’ve made some impressive progress as a squad over the past couple of years, with play-off rugby against the best teams in Europe, and beyond, now a regular occurrence,” added the Ulster CEO.

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