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Dwayne Peel will bring new ideas to help steer us to success: Kiss

By Jonathan Bradley

Director of Rugby Les Kiss is excited about working with Dwayne Peel at Kingspan Stadium next season after Ulster were able to secure another of his top coaching targets.

Peel, a Test Lion in 2005 who captained Wales at the World Cup two years later, will be assistant coach in Belfast next season after agreeing a two-year deal.

Just 35 years old, the former scrum-half has been working in a similar role at Premiership side Bristol since injury forced him to call time on his playing career.

Having impressed Kiss thoroughly at the interview stage, the Australian is looking forward to teaming up with Peel and praised the work done behind the scenes to get a deal done.

"I'm very pleased that Dwayne will join us from next season," he said. "He's a talented coach who has a great understanding of the game and I'm really excited by what he will bring to our environment.

"It was obvious through my discussions with Dwayne that he has an exceptional coaching eye and he will provide us with refreshing insight and ideas."

Peel, who like many of the Ulster playing squad is represented by the Esportif agency, is excited by the fresh start.

"I'm delighted to have this opportunity," he said.

"Ulster is one of the big clubs in European rugby and I'm looking forward to working with a large contingent of quality players.

"Coaching was always a natural progression for me and I'm really enjoying my role with Bristol.

"Over the years I've spent time in different environments trying to pick things up that will benefit my career and this move to Belfast is another step in the right direction.

"I've talked with Les a lot over the past couple of weeks and it's exciting for me to work with someone of his calibre. I'm looking forward to getting started in the summer, but my focus will be with Bristol until the end of the season."

The announcement was the second in three days on the make-up of next season's coaching ticket.

It was revealed in the Belfast Telegraph last month that current coaches Neil Doak and Allen Clarke would not be offered new deals at the end of the current campaign, with their replacements now known to be Peel and former Leinster forwards coach Jono Gibbes, with current skills coach Niall Malone remaining in the set-up.

Gibbes, who it was confirmed on Monday will be handed the title of head coach previously held by Doak, will arrive from Clermont with Kiss believing the blend of experience and youthful enthusiasm will serve the side well for 2017/18.

"After Jono agreed to join us, it was clear that Dwayne was going to be a great fit for our coaching group for next season."

Ulster have already recruited Connacht scrum-half John Cooney and Springbok back-rower Arno Botha to their playing squad with an additional front-row signing also believed to be in the offing.

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