Jono Gibbes will leave his role as Ulster head coach at the end of the Pro14 season due to “family reasons”, the club have confirmed.
Former New Zealand flanker Gibbes worked as forwards coach at Leinster and Clermont Auvergne prior to taking over the Irish province ahead of this season.
However, he will depart after a single campaign to return to the southern hemisphere.
“Being a long way from home for the last 10 years has made me prioritise things above my career and so I’ll be returning at the end of this season for family reasons,” said Gibbes in an Ulster statement.
“The decision to leave here is a difficult one professionally, because I support the team and the staff, and I am excited for what the future holds for them. I believe there are enough passionate and professional people involved to build on the existing strong foundations of the club.
“The challenge ahead for Ulster demands the full attention of everyone involved; the management group, the team, the coaches and support staff. It is exciting and achievable. However, I cannot in good conscience provide my full attention for the journey ahead.”
Ulster, who sit fourth in Conference B, are yet to announce a replacement.
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