Ospreys have announced that former Ulster, Northampton and Ireland hooker, Allen Clarke, will arrive as their forwards coach next season.
Clarke will report for duty at Llandarcy Academy of Sport for pre-season, replacing Chris Gibbes in the role. Gibbes confirmed in January he will leave the Ospreys at the end of the season to head home to New Zealand and become head coach at Mitre 10 Cup side Wellington Lions.
Clarke will join the Ospreys from PRO12 rivals Ulster, where he has enjoyed success as both player and coach over the last 20 years, either side of a five-year spell as Irish Rugby’s High Performance Manager. He also had eight years as a player in England at Northampton Saints.
“I am delighted to have this opportunity and really excited about the next challenge in my career,” he said when speaking to the Ospreys.
“Why the Ospreys? What’s impressed me is the people. Many organisations will have values and I get the sense that the people at the Ospreys really do believe and live their values. That creates a good environment to work in, a culture that I’m looking forward to being part of.
“It’s an ambitious organisation, with a great mix of experience and some real talent coming through, and I hope that I can add value, for the players, the coaches and the management. Chris Gibbes has done a great job in building a pack that has the potential to go toe-to-toe with anyone and I’m grateful to have that platform to work from when I arrive in the summer. I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“Ulster, and Irish rugby, has been my life for such a long time, but I’m excited and highly motivated about joining the Ospreys and making the move to the region with my wife, Kerry, it’s a great new adventure for us.
“However, all parties, myself, Ulster and the Ospreys, have a lot of work to do and goals to achieve before the end of the season, when I’ll be able to focus on the future.”