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All Black Jono Gibbes joins Ulster in coaching role

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster's coaching ticket for next year is set to become clearer today with the expected announcement that French club Clermont's former All Black Jono Gibbes has been recruited by Les Kiss to be the province's new head coach.

The set-up below Director of Rugby Kiss has been in a state of flux for more than a month since the Belfast Telegraph revealed that possible replacements for head coach Neil Doak and forwards specialist Allen Clarke were already being sounded out.

And while Ulster have refused to comment, it is believed that Gibbes has agreed to leave his role at Clermont to come on board at Kingspan Stadium. The 40-year-old New Zealander is a familiar face in Irish rugby having worked with national head coach Joe Schmidt at Leinster, where he was forwards coach between 2008 and 2014.

Gibbes is now believed to have agreed a two-year deal in Belfast.

Neil Doak could still remain at Kingspan in a different capacity than his current title but, even with Gibbes' imminent arrival, another coaching addition still seems likely before next season.

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