Planet Rugby

Anscombe signs on for another year

05th February 2014 11:47

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mark anscombe ulster

Staying put: Mark Anscombe

Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe has signed a one-year contract extension at the province, meaning he will stay on until at least 2015.

Anscombe joined Ulster in mid-2012 and started his tenure by guiding the team to an unbeaten 16 game run. In that first season he went on to lead the side to the final of the PRO12 and the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup. He became the first Ulster head coach to win in France when the province beat Castres by 9 points to 8 in January 2013.

This season he has led the team to an Ulster record six wins out of six in the Pool stages of the Heineken Cup, including memorable wins over Montpellier in France and Leicester Tigers at Welford Road. Ulster will now play Saracens on April 5 in the province's first home Heineken Cup quarter-final in 15 years.

As well as delivering results, Anscombe has also added considerable depth to the Ulster squad, using more than 50 different players in his 18 months in charge.

"I have enjoyed my time at Ravenhill so far," said Anscombe.

"We have made good progress, we have a great squad and some excellent young players coming through, so I am pleased to be committing for a further year.

"I said when I started at Ulster that I believed that this would be a three-year project. We are half way through that now. We have a home Heineken Cup quarter-final and we are competing for a play-off place in the PRO12 once again.

"My focus over the next year and a half will be to finish the job that I have started and to bring some silverware back to Ravenhill."

"Over the past 18 months Ulster Rugby has made huge progress on and off the pitch," added Director of Rugby David Humphreys.

"Through his coaching, knowledge of the game and experience, Mark Anscombe has taken team performance to a new level and we are delighted he has committed to the province for a further 12 months.

"It is an exciting time to be part of Ulster. The redevelopment of Ravenhill is almost complete, we are in a home Heineken Cup quarter-final, and our representation in the Ireland squad is growing.

"We believe that Mark is the right person to deliver immediate success through winning trophies and also long term success through the development of future Ulster and Ireland players."

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