Jared Payne will leave Ulster Rugby at the end of the season in another change to Dan McFarland’s coaching ticket.
The former British and Irish Lion played 78 games for the province before stepping into the coaching team for the past four campaigns.
Now he is set to leave the province to pursue coaching opportunities overseas, Ulster have said.
Head coach McFarland was keen to pay tribute to his soon-to-be departing defence coach.
“We all know how much Jared has given to Ulster, as a player, and as an important part of our coaching set-up since 2018,” said McFarland.
“Jared has helped to shape who we are as a club over the past decade, and what we want to achieve, and his influence will continue to be felt in the years ahead. Jared’s desire to learn and improve himself as a coach has been impressive and it has been this spirit, in particular, that has made him a core part of our culture.
“On behalf of myself, the support staff, and the wider club, I would like to thank Jared for his significant contribution to Ulster, and he leaves with our best wishes for this next chapter.”
Reflecting on his decade at the province, Payne said: “A big thank-you to the Ulster community, the fans, players and staff that have made my time here special.
“I will forever be grateful for the opportunities and experiences that we have shared, and I look forward to hopefully adding to those over these final few months.”
There was upheaval in McFarland’s coaching staff last season too when assistant coach Dwayne Peel moved on to join Cardiff Blues.
Dan Soper stepped up to fill Peel’s void with Craig Newby arriving as skills coach, alongside forwards coach Roddy Grant, Payne and McFarland.
Now McFarland will have another significant void to fill looking ahead to next season.