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Willie Anderson announces retirement

Former international will step down from academy at the end of this month

Willie Anderson announces retirement

Willie Anderson will step down

Former Ulster and Ireland captain, Willie Anderson, has announced he will retire from the Ulster Rugby Academy at the end of this month.

Willie, who has coached Rainey Old Boys and local GAA club Loup, has played an important role in the Ulster coaching team since July 2016, as a forwards specialist for both the Academy and the Ulster A team.

Following an outstanding playing career that yielded 27 international caps between 1984 and 1990, Willie embarked on a coaching path that saw him work with Leinster, London Irish and the Scotland national team.

He also gained extensive experience within the school and club game having coached at Grosvenor Grammar School, Sullivan Upper School, Rainey Old Boys RFC and Dungannon RFC.

Responsible for the development of countless Ulster players - including a number of those involved in the current set-up such as Eric O’Sullivan, Adam McBurney, Tom O’Toole, Ross Kane, Nick Timoney and Matty Rea - Willie also played an important role in nurturing young talent coming through the Academy in David McCann, Azur Allison, Callum Reid and Tom Stewart.

“As a native Ulster man, I have always been intensely passionate about my province’s rugby. It has been an honour to be able to give something back to rugby in Ulster during my final years of coaching," Willie said.

“It is without doubt that Willie’s legacy and influence will be felt for many years to come at Ulster Rugby," said

Ulster Rugby CEO Jonny Petrie feels Willie's 'legacy and influence' will stand the test of time.

"He has made an immeasurable contribution to rugby over the years as both a player and as a coach – and I can say this as someone who benefited first-hand from his exceptional coaching skills.

“It is certain that Willie will remain in close contact with us as a club, and we look forward to seeing the seeds of talent which he has planted come to fruition in the years ahead.

“On behalf of all of Ulster Rugby, we wish Willie a happy and healthy retirement, and say thank-you to him for his outstanding contribution to Ulster and the game of rugby.”

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