Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 4°C
Daniel Soper was appointed Banbridge Head Coach back in 2010.
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Ulster complete coaching ticket with appointment of Banbridge's Daniel Soper
The province have announced the 41-year-old New Zealander will join their backroom team next season.

ULSTER HAVE CONFIRMED New Zealander Daniel Soper will join the province’s coaching team ahead of next season as skills coach.

The appointment completes Ulster’s coaching ticket following the recent announcement of Dan McFarland as Head Coach, as well as former player Jarod Payne as defence coach.

Soper will be a familiar face to followers of domestic rugby having earned success in the local and school game, where he played for both Banbridge RFC and Ballynahinch RFC after moving to Ireland in 1998.

He was part of the coaching team that guided ‘Hinch to the grand slam of Ulster and All-Ireland Cup and League success in 2009, while in 2010 the Alexandra native rejoined Banbridge as Head Coach where he has taken in two All-Ireland League promotions.

In the school game, Soper cut his teeth with Sullivan Upper before spending seven years at Ballyclare High School, during which time the side reached four Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup semi-finals and a first final in almost 40 years.

Most recently, as Director of Rugby at RBAI, Soper collected three Schools’ Cup titles in a row from 2015 to 2017, while he has also coached the Ulster U18 Schools squad.

“When I spoke to Bryn (Cunningham) and the other coaches, I was really impressed with the vision they have about how they want the team to play and where they want the club to go, and I feel my strengths are well suited to the role they want me to play in that,” he said upon his new appointment.

“There are a lot of the players that I have worked with over the years, from Michael (Lowry) and James (Hume) in recent years, right back to Darren Cave who I coached at Sullivan, as well as all the players on the Ulster Schools and Banbridge teams.

“Also, as someone who has been a season ticket holder for the past number of years, I’ve always watched the development of players with a keen eye so it’s really exciting that I’ll now have the opportunity to help further that development.”

Alongside his new position, the 41-year-old will continue to be involved at Banbridge next season.

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