Richard Hill is on standby to fly from Bath to Belfast where he is expected to be unveiled as Ulster Rugby’s new coach.
A salary has been agreed, as have almost all the terms and conditions of his contract. The only issues remaining are finalisation of bonus payment in the event of a successful Heineken European Cup run, and ratification of his appointment by the IRFU, the latter a rubber-stamping exercise.
Both principal parties are happy; members of the Ravenhill hierarchy see Hill as being capable of moving things forward on the pitch and he wants the job. Agreement is tantalisingly close, with Hill said to be “poised to sign”.
With no-one else in the frame at this stage and no resistance from either side, the way was clear for completion of the deal within days.
As a player, Hill defied convention in terms of height and weight. Standing 5’ 7” and tilting the scales at just 12st 3lbs, the scrum half dubbed ‘Duracell’ twice captained Bath and won 29 Test caps for England.
He has coached Gloucester and Bristol, guiding the latter to promotion to the Premiership.
But with three months of the 2008-09 campaign remaining and relegation unavoidable, he stood down.