Ulster coaching role for Soper

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Ulster coaching role for Soper thumbnail

HEAD Coach at Banbridge Rugby Club, Dan Soper will join the ranks of the
professional game when he takes up a post at Ulster Rugby.
Ulster Rugby confirmed yesterday (Monday) that the 41-year-old, will
join the coaching team from next season as Skills Coach.
A spokesperson for Banbridge RFC told The Outlook they were delighted
for their head coach.
“The club is delighted that his abilities have been recognised at a
professional level," said David Dodds.
“We always knew he had ambitions to work within professional rugby."
David said the club initially had assumed Soper's new post would see him
leave Banbridge, but said they were "very happy" to hear this wasn't the
“The bonus for us is that he is staying on with us as Banbridge coach
and that is with the encouragement of Ulster Rugby. So it's a win-win
for us," he said.
His appointment follows on from the announcement of Ulster's new Head
Coach Dan McFarland alongside former player, Jared Payne assuming the
role of Defence Coach.
Soper's appointment completes the Ulster coaching ticket for next season
along with Assistant Coach Dwayne Peel, Scrum Coach Aaron Dundon and
Head Analyst Niall Malone.
In a statement on Ulster Rugby's website Soper, who is also the Director
of Rugby at RBAI, said he was looking forward to working in the
professional game.
“When I spoke to Bryn (Cunningham) and the other coaches, I was really
impressed with the vision they have about how they want the team to play
and where they want the club to go, and I feel my strengths are well
suited to the role they want me to play in that.
“As someone who has been a season ticket holder for the past number of
years, I've always watched the development of players with a keen eye,
so it's really exciting that I'll now have the opportunity to help
further that development.
“The prospect of working in the professional game is something that I am
really enthused about, I expect it to be another step up but it's a
challenge that I'm really looking forward to."
Originally from Alexandra, New Zealand, Soper moved to Ireland in 1998
and played for both Banbridge RFC and Ballynahinch RFC.
He was also part of the coaching team that guided Ballynahinch to the
‘grand slam' of Ulster and All Ireland Cup and League success in 2009.
He returned to Banbridge in 2010 as Head Coach and has overseen an
improvement in club fortunes, including two promotions in the All
Ireland League.
Bryn Cunningham, Ulster's Operations Director, said: "From speaking to
Dan, Jared and Daniel, as well as our current coaches, I know they are
all really looking forward to linking up and getting stuck into the new
“This is a great opportunity for a revitalised coaching group to come in
with fresh ideas and a renewed determination to take Ulster back to
where we all want to be.
“There are very few coaches who can boast the level of success and
respect that Daniel has in the local game and this, along with his
undoubted coaching aptitudes, will ensure he is a great addition to the
setup at Kingspan Stadium."


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