RUGBY: Neil Doak remains uncertain about his future after Ulster

Neil Doak
Neil Doak

Neil Doak says he remains fully focused on doing what he can to get Ulster over the line in the Guinness PRO12 in spite of knowing he will no longer be with the Province at the end of the current season.

Assistant coach Doak and fellow assistant Allen Clarke are both not having their contracts renewed at the end of the season.

Neil Doak

Neil Doak

Former British Lions and Welsh international, Dwayne Peel currently coaching at English Championship side Bristol has already been confirmed as replacing Doak as backs coach next season.

Clarke, who is being replaced by Jono Gibbes as forwards coach, has recently signed a deal with Welsh PRO12 rivals The Ospreys.

But Doak admitted yesterday he does not have anything sorted out yet.

“Yes it is frustrating from my point of view but I suppose that’s the nature of Pro rugby. It can be frustrating but you’ve just got to bide your time and wait for opportunities.

Neil Doak and Wiehahn Herbst

Neil Doak and Wiehahn Herbst

“Hopefully they come up pretty soon,” he added.

Ulster are currently sitting in fourth place in the PRO12 and Doak hopes to see them through to the top four and two play-offs.

He admits it is hard to concentrate on games while juggling his future in the background, but insists his focus is on getting the job done with Ulster.

“Ideally I would like a little bit of certainty moving forward. I’m obviously going to finish (with Ulster) at the end of the season but I’ve still got to do a job and make sure the players are prepped as well as they can be.

Neil Doak

Neil Doak

“It’s not difficult for me to put that to one side and just focus on what I can do. I suppose when I think about it, it’s not a job per se. It’s what I do. I’ve been doing it for 23 years.

“It’s like getting up in the morning at 7 o clock. It’s just what I do. I just want to make sure... I mean ultimately as a coach you’re serving the players to play the game.

“You’ve got to help them develop and help them grow and make sure... you’re trying to fulfil their goals as a coach and help them achieve those goals. That’s my focus and that’s what I’ve been doing for a number of years, so it’s sort of second nature if that makes sense,” he said.