Jonny Petrie: Ulster chief executive departs province

Jonny Petrie
Jonny Petrie won 45 caps for Scotland between 2000 and 2007

Ulster chief executive Jonny Petrie has left the province, BBC Sport NI understands.

Petrie's departure is another high-profile exit from Ulster after head coach Dan McFarland left in February.

McFarland was replaced by Ireland Under-20s head coach Richie Murphy on an interim basis.

Petrie was appointed as CEO in January 2019 and said in March there would be a period of readjustment "this year and into next year" after financial issues.

Ulster's squad are currently in South Africa before Saturday's match with the Stormers.

Former Scotland international Petrie, 47, previously worked in rugby administration with Edinburgh before joining the Belfast outfit.

In a meeting with season ticket holders earlier this month, he said the province were "working with the IRFU to get to a sustainable solution" to financial issues affecting the United Rugby Championship (URC) side.

Petrie explained that inflationary costs and "other factors largely outside of our control" have impacted expenditure.

The club announced that their sponsorship with Kingspan would be extended by a year before ending in 2025.

Ulster currently sit seventh in the URC table, inside the play-off positions, and will face Montpellier in the European Challenge Cup last 16 next month.