Dan McFarland: IRFU and Ulster secure release of Scotland assistant coach

Dan McFarland
Dan McFarland has been Scotland forwards coach since 2017

Dan McFarland will take up his role as Ulster head coach on Monday after the Irish Rugby Football Union secured his early release from Scottish Rugby.

The unions have reached an agreement to allow the Englishman to leave his post as Scotland forwards coach before the end of his nine-month notice period.

McFarland, 46, signed a three-year contract with the province in April.

Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby had taken charge of Ulster's pre-season training in the absence of McFarland.

In a statement, Ulster said their new head coach would begin working with them just 12 days before their opening Pro14 match of the season against Scarlets: "The Irish Rugby Football Union and Scottish Rugby have reached an agreement to allow Dan McFarland to begin working with Ulster Rugby tomorrow, Monday.

"The parties reached a mutual agreement on terms this weekend, allowing Dan to take up his new role as head coach of Ulster."

The agreement comes after 14 weeks of negotiations between the two unions after the SRU had initially insisted that McFarland must serve out his full notice period until January 2019.

McFarland's replacement, Danny Wilson, began work with the Scotland coaching team earlier this month after previously agreeing to leave Cardiff Blues to join Wasps.

The arrival of the former Glasgow and Connacht assistant coach at Kingspan Stadium completes a new-look coaching team at Ulster following the departure of Les Kiss and Jono Gibbes last season.

Former Ireland international Jared Payne has taken up the role of defence coach after his forced retirement while fellow New Zealand native Dan Soper has been appointed as skills coach.

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