Ulster and Scottish Rugby reach agreement for McFarland release

Dan McFarland will take over as Ulster head coach despite a contract dispute with the Scottish Rugby Union. Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Ulster have reached an agreement with Scottish Rugby for Dan McFarland to begin as their head coach from Monday after he was released from his contract.

The Scotland forwards coach had been obliged to stay in his post for a nine-month notice period despite signing with Ulster in April.

But the two sides have settled on an agreement that allows McFarland, 46, to sever his contract with Scotland which would have run until January 2019.

In a statement Ulster said:

"The Irish Rugby Football Union and Scottish Rugby have reached an agreement to allow Dan McFarland to begin working with Ulster Rugby tomorrow, Monday.

"The parties reached a mutual agreement on terms this weekend, to allow Dan to take up his new role as Head Coach of Ulster."

Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby had stepped in to oversee Ulster's pre-season preparations while negotiations between the IRFU and SRU took place.

Their Guiness Pro14 campaign starts Saturday at the Kingspan Stadium against the Scarlets, with the European Champions Cup also around the corner in October.

McFarland's replacement Danny Wilson joined the Scotland coaching team from Cardiff Blues earlier this month after pulling out of a proposed move to Wasps.