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Coaching merry-go-round sees Clarke take charge of Ospreys forwards

The former Ireland international will replace Jono Gibbes’ brother Chris at the Welsh region.

Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

OSPREYS HAVE APPOINTED former Ireland international Allen Clarke as their new forwards coach for next season.

Clarke, who is leaving his role in charge of Ulster’s forwards ahead of the arrival of head coach Jono Gibbes, will replace the Wellington Lions-bound Craig Gibbes (who happens to be Jono’s brother) in charge of the Welsh region’s pack.

Clarke also worked for the IRFU as high performance director before taking up the role in Kingspan Stadium.

“Ulster, and Irish rugby, has been my life for such a long time,” Clarke said in today’s statement, “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.

“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.”

Looking forward to Clarke’s arrival, Ospreys managing director Andrew Millward said:

“He’s renowned for his energy, his meticulous preparation and his knowledge of the set-piece area. Combine that with a proven track record in, and passion for, player development, and you’ve got someone whose own approach sits comfortably within our values as an organisation. He will be a valuable addition to the coaching team when Gibbo heads home at the end of the season.”

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