Payne, forced to retire due to head injuries, joined the backroom staff at Kingspan Stadium in an unofficial capacity as defence coach under Jono Gibbes before taking up the position full-time in Dan McFarland’s first season.
“A big thank-you to the Ulster community, the fans, players and staff that have made my time here special,” said Payne. “I will forever be grateful for the opportunities and experiences that we have shared, and I look forward to hopefully adding to those over these final few months.”
McFarland paid a glowing tribute to Payne.
“We all know how much Jared has given to Ulster, as a player, and as an important part of our coaching set-up since 2018,” said the head coach. “Jared has helped to shape who we are as a club over the past decade, and what we want to achieve, and his influence will continue to be felt in the years ahead.
“Jared’s desire to learn and improve himself as a coach has been impressive and it has been this spirit, in particular, that has made him a core part of our culture.”
Meanwhile, talisman scrum half John Cooney has been ruled out of Sunday’s Heineken Champions Cup against Northampton at Franklin Gardens.
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