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Jared Payne to take up coaching position with Ulster after head injury forces retirement

The 32-year-old will travel with Ireland on their tour to Australia to work with the national coaches as part of his development.

Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

JARED PAYNE HAS is set to become a defence coach for Ulster after he was forced to retire from playing professional rugby due to a head injury, the club has announced.

A statement on the Ulster website says that Payne, who played on 78 occasions for the province, failed to “sufficiently recover from a head injury sustained while on tour with the British & Irish Lions last summer.”

The 32-year-old will travel with Ireland on their tour to Australia to work with the national coaches as part of his development, according to IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora.

Payne earned 20 caps for Ireland during his career.

Following the announcement, the New Zealand native said:

“It’s been a good ride but unfortunately every good thing has to come to an end. Playing rugby has taken me to places I never thought I’d see and allowed me meet people I never thought I’d meet.

“Firstly, I’d like to thank my parents for all their help in my younger years and my brother Josh for being a live tackle bag!

“Thanks also to the coaches and team mates throughout the years that have made living this dream possible, and to the staff, volunteers and fans that make game days so special.

“The support that I’ve received from my partner Chrissie and sons Jake and Tyler, particularly over the past 12 months, has been incredible.

“I would like to thank all of the medical professionals who have supported me since my injury occurred back in June last year. I’m extremely grateful for your considerable care and attention.

“While I will undoubtedly miss the buzz of running out with mates every weekend, I have to listen to the medical advice and unfortunately give up the dream.

“However, I’ve surprised myself how much I have enjoyed coaching and I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into this role on a permanent basis.

“Finally, I’d like to thank the management here at Ulster for giving me the opportunity to contribute in this way and I look forward to trying to repay the faith shown in me.”

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