Ulster defense manager Jared Payne joins Clermont Auvergne in the same role at the end of the season


Ulster defense manager Jared Payne has been confirmed to join French club ASM Clermont Auvergne in the same role next season.

In January it was announced that the 36-year-old would leave the provinces at the end of the season after 11 years at the club, with Clermont rumored to be his destination soon.

As it happens, Auvergne side announce that the former Ireland international and the British and Irish Lions will join Jono Gibbes’ coaching staff from July.

A 20-time international centre-back/full-back, Payne has proven to be a defensive guru, coaching Ulster to the second-lowest counterpoints in the United Rugby Championship this season, averaging just 16.13 points per game.

Before moving to the backroom, the New Zealand native played for the province for seven seasons, making 78 appearances and scoring 21 goals, earning him recognition with Ireland the Lions.

However, injuries took their toll, forcing him into coaching sooner than expected, where he was successful.

Now he will travel to Stade Marcel-Michelin on a two-year deal to work alongside another former Ulster manager at Gibbes to help Les Jaunards Return to the top of French rugby.

“It’s a great pleasure to sign Jared,” said Gibbes. “Jared is an extremely precise, diligent and rigorous trainer. He’s a man who articulates his ideas and will be able to give us positive development both strategically and technically in terms of defence, which is very strategic in modern rugby.”

Current Clermont defense coach Benson Stanley will reshape his role to that of a more technical coach, with a greater focus on the French side espoirs (Academy) to accommodate Payne’s arrival.

Ulster have already sorted out Payne’s replacement, with former defense coach Jonny Bell returning to the same role from next season after leaving the Worcester Warriors. Ulster defense manager Jared Payne joins Clermont Auvergne in the same role at the end of the season

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