Ulster's Jonathan Bell to join Gloucester as assistant coach
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Ulster's Jonathan Bell to join Gloucester as assistant coach

JONATHAN Bell will leave Ulster Rugby to join Gloucester Rugby as an assistant coach in the summer.

Former Irish international Bell will be responsible for defensive duties at Kingsholm where he will also work alongside David Humphreys again.

"I'm delighted that Jonny will be joining Gloucester's coaching team ahead of next season,” Humphreys said.

“He's an individual I know very well having played alongside him and then worked with him at Ulster, and the work he has done with the Ulster squad over the past three years speaks for itself.

"I know he's very excited about the challenge ahead and I'm looking forward to welcoming him to Gloucester."

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Ulster team manager Bryn Cunningham paid tribute to Bell's service with the province. "Jonny has been a tremendous servant for Ulster Rugby as both a player and a coach,” Cunningham commented.

“We wish him every success in his new role and we know that in his remaining months with the province that he will be working hard to help the team be as competitive as possible in the Pro12.”

Ex-Waratahs defence coach Joe Barakat will link up with Ulster Rugby on a two-year contract.

"When Jonny told us in October that he would be leaving to explore his options and expand his coaching experience, we set out to recruit a coach that would both complement the expertise that we already have, as well as providing a fresh insight and perspective into the game," Cunningham said.

"We are therefore hugely excited that Joe is joining Ulster and we know that his experience of club, provincial and international rugby will be invaluable to us throughout our rugby programme in our quest to be a top side in both Europe and the Pro12 in the coming seasons."