Ex-Ireland international named Ospreys forwards coach

Allen Clarke moves from Ulster where he had also served as a player

Allen Clarke, Ulster, rugby,

Allen Clarke ©INPHO/Presseye/Freddie Parkinson

Welsh Pro 12 side Ospreys have announced the appointment of former Irish international hooker Allen Clarke as their new forwards coach.

Clarke will join up with the Welsh side from Ulster in the summer.

The 49 year old played eight times for Ireland between 1995 and 1998, and played his club rugby with Northampton and Ulster, where he was part of the Irish province's 1999 Heineken Cup final win.

He had been coaching at Ulster and within the IRFU since retiring as a player. 

Clarke explained his decision to join the Welsh region on Osprey's official website, saying: “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.”