HUGH Hogan says he is "ambitious for the future" after being appointed as the Scarlets' new defence coach.

Hogan has been contact skills coach at Guinness PRO14 champions Leinster since 2018, having been head coach of the province’s U19s, U20s and A teams.

He is credited with helping Leinster develop one of the meanest defences in European rugby.

A former back-row forward, he played for Leinster A between 2005 and 2009, he has also coached with the Ireland senior sevens programme.

“I am immensely excited to be joining Dwayne Peel and his coaching group at Scarlets," he said.

"They are a team with a rich history, and I think they are synonymous with a skilful and energising brand of rugby.

"To join the group and be a part of this is something that I’m really looking forward to.

"We are ambitious for the future and what this talented group of players are capable of.

“I’m also looking forward to moving, with my young family, to the region and getting to know the proud and passionate supporters and many great people that I’m sure we’ll meet.

"We are anticipating some great family adventures in West Wales.

“I’ve enjoyed the last eight and a half years at Leinster and the opportunity I have had to continually learn and develop, but I am most grateful for the many friendships I have been fortunate to make.

"I have no doubt that I will be as fortunate again with the wonderful people that make up the squad, staff and supporters at Parc y Scarlets.”

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel said: “We are delighted to have a coach of the calibre of Hugh coming on board as part of our coaching team.

“He has been doing fantastic work at Leinster, playing a big role in their success and we are excited to see what he will bring to the Scarlets."

* Meanwhile Scarlets have confirmed that attack coach Richard Whiffin has left the club by mutual consent.

Having arrived at the Scarlets from Gloucester Academy in 2019, he spent two seasons as part of the coaching team at Parc y Scarlets.

Scarlets general manager of rugby Jon Daniels said: “We would like to thank Rich for his whole-hearted commitment to the Scarlets over the last couple of years and wish him well for the next chapter of his career.”

“It has been a pleasure to coach such a great group of players these past two years," said Whiffin.

"We have enjoyed some great moments and stand out results, most memorable for me were great away wins at Connacht and Bath and the atmosphere at the Christmas derbies.

"I wish the players and club the best of luck for the upcoming season.”