All Ireland Division 2B League clubs Armagh and Rainey have appointed Ulster players to their coaching staff, WRITES CIARAN DONAGHY.
Willie Faloon, who is to rejoin Ulster over the summer from Connacht, is to assist newly appointed coach, Alex McCloy at Armagh.
And Rainey will have Irish international Luke Marshall in their backroom staff.
Marshall will join up with director of rugby and head coach John Andrews who moves up from assistant coach after Richard Boyd’s departure as the Old Boys complete a restructure to their back room staff.
Capped six times by Ireland and over 60 appearances in the white shirt of Ulster Marshall is hoping to cut his coaching teeth with the Magherafelt club.
Marshall is entering the final year of his contract with Ulster and is keen to build up experience in a coaching capacity.
Marshall won the first of his six Ireland caps against Scotland at Murrayfield in the 2013 Six Nations Championship.
Hel toured Argentina last summer with Ireland but injury and suspension has curtailed his opportunities with both country and province this season.
A former pupil at Ballymena Academy Marshall will team up with his old school coach Andrews at Rainey.
“I’m very excited about working with someone of Luke’s playing ability but his personality and knowledge of the game will make him a great asset to our coaching panel,” said Andrews
In his first spell in charge at Hatrick Park as player/coach Andrews took Rainey from Junior Rugby to the All Ireland League in 2006.
Rainey won their first 12 league games before losing to Armagh but a 53-3 win over Limavady clinched the league title.
In the round robin Rainey beat Westport 36-0 away, Youghal 34-0 and Monkstown 32-16 at home to win promotion to the senior ranks.
Rainey also added the inaugural ALL Ireland Junior Cup that season, after wins over Kanturk and Speapoint the Old Boys beat Youghal 27-5 in the decider at Lansdowne Road.