Ex-Springboks lock Albert van den Berg is to become the club’s forwards coach, replacing Ben Franks who has returned to New Zealand.
Former Ireland and British & Irish Lions international Jared Payne has been appointed backs and attack coach and in a further addition to the backroom staff, Ulster’s Shane Carney is to become the Scarlets’ new Head of Athletic Performance.
Regarded as one of the leading forwards and lineout coaches in South African rugby, van den Berg has been at the Emirates Lions since 2021. Capped 51 times by the Springboks, the former Sharks second row started his coaching journey with the Sharks Academy as a forwards coach and lineout specialist, rising through the ranks to assistant coach of the senior Vodacom Cup squad. He had a three-year spell as an assistant coach with his former club the Canon Eagles in Japan before a successful stint in the Currie Cup with Griquas.
In an illustrious playing career, New Zealand-born Payne started out at Waikato and played for the Chiefs, Crusaders and Blues in Super Rugby before joining Ulster in 2011. He played 20 times for Ireland and toured New Zealand with the British & Irish Lions in 2017. After retiring from rugby because of injury in 2018, he was appointed Ulster’s Defence Coach, where he was part of a coaching team that included current Scarlets Head Coach Dwayne Peel. Payne joined Clermont Auvergne at the start of the season to take charge of the French side’s defence and will come on board as backs coach and to assist attack specialist Peel with the team attack.
Carney is the Athletic Performance and Reconditioning Coach at Ulster, where he also worked alongside Peel. He had previously been Head of Strength and Conditioning at Hull Kingston Rovers rugby league side.
Van den Berg, Payne and Carney will join Peel (Head Coach), Gareth Williams (Defence) and Emyr Phillips (Contact Skills & Scrum) in the senior coaching team.
Scarlets Head Coach Dwayne Peel said: “Albert, Jared and Shane are exciting additions to our coaching team and we look forward to welcoming them to Parc y Scarlets this summer.
“I know Jared and Shane well from my time with Ulster. I worked with Jared for three and a half years and he is a quality coach who will be great for our talented crop of young players, in particular. Similarly, Shane, who is a highly-rated performance coach with a real focus on detail.
“Albert brings with him a wealth of experience from his time coaching in Japan and South Africa. He has the experience of playing more than 50 Tests for the Springboks and comes here with a real pedigree as one of the most highly regarded forwards and lineout coaches in South Africa.
“I’d also like to thank Ben Franks for everything he has done for the Scarlets. Franksy has been influential in developing a pack culture here and also bringing through an exciting pool of young front five forwards that we have at the club. We wish him well with the next chapter of his career back in New Zealand.”