Sunday 22 July 2018

Gibbes takes over as Kiss exits Ulster

 

Les Kiss. Photo: Sportsfile
Les Kiss. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Ulster's chaotic season, both on and off the pitch, took yet another dramatic turn after the province confirmed that Les Kiss has left his position as director of rugby with immediate effect.

Kiss has been under constant pressure up north and the final straw was Ulster crashing out of the Champions Cup a fortnight ago.

Head coach Jono Gibbes "will assume responsibility for all coaching matters and will lead the current coaching team of Dwayne Peel, Aaron Dundon and Niall Malone," an official statement from Ulster said. A review will be held over the coming weeks to determine if another coach is needed.

Kiss, who took charge of Ulster after the 2015 World Cup when his commitments with Ireland ended, was hugely popular amongst the players, but the results on the pitch have been nowhere near what is expected.

The 53-year-old Australian helped Ireland win a Grand Slam in his debut season as defence coach, while he was also instrumental in helping secure Six Nations titles in 2014 and 2015.

The spotlight has firmly been on Kiss since head coach Neil Doak and forwards coach Allen Clarke left their positions last summer and despite the fact that they are third in their PRO14 conference, a huge amount of supporters have become disillusioned.

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