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Simon Easterby steps in for Ulster until McFarland’s arrival

Ulster have announced Simon Easterby will support the club’s preparations for the new season, pending the arrival of new head coach Dan McFarland.

The Ireland forwards coach will arrive at the Kingspan this week on an interim basis due to complications surrounding McFarland’s contract with the Scottish Rugby Union.

Serving as forwards coach under Gregor Townsend, McFarland signed a three-year deal at Ulster in April but must first see out a nine-month notice period with Scotland before he can join the PRO14 side.

Ulster will be keen to forget about last season that saw the prospect of reaching the league play-offs perched on the horizon, while they also crashed out of the Champions Cup following a 26-7 defeat to Wasps.

This led to then director of rugby Les Kiss leaving the province, while head coach Jono Gibbes left to return to Waikato.

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