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Ulster look to replace McLaughlin - reports

Reports this morning indicate that Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin will not be offered a new deal when his contract expires in May.

On the way? Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin (file photo).
On the way? Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin (file photo).
Image: ©INPHO/Presseye/Darren Kidd

Updated 12.35

ULSTER LOOK SET to undergo a major shake-up at the end of the season following reports that coach Brian McLaughlin’s contract will not be renewed.

McLaughlin’s term at Ravenhill is due to expire in May and “informed sources” revealed yesterday that he will not be offered a further extension, the Irish Examiner reports.

Ulster director of rugby David Humphreys and chief executive Shane Logan are believed to be behind the move to replace McLaughlin, with All Black duo John Kirwan and Matt Sexton tipped as the early front-runners to succeed the 52-year-old.

A former teacher, McLaughlin signed a two-year deal to take charge of Ulster following Matt Williams’ resignation in May 2009.

He was rewarded with a one-year extension following last season’s success, which saw Ulster finish third in the Magners League and reach the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup for the first time since 1999.

That impressive run of form continued into this season, as Ulster upset Clermont Auvergne and walloped the Leicester Tigers in Belfast to qualify out of a “Pool of Death” for their second successive Heineken Cup quarter-final.

Ulster are currently sixth in the Rabodirect Pro12, four points outside the end-of-season play-off places.

A brief statement released by Ulster this morning read: “In response to media speculation today regarding the Ulster Rugby Head Coaching position, Ulster Rugby confirms that the current coaching contracts are set to finish at the end of the season, and are under review. There will be no further comment at this time.”

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Niall Kelly

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