Foley 'to take over Munster'13/04/2012 - 14:51:58
Anthony Foley will be announced as Munster’s new director of rugby/head coach in the next week or so, Evening Echo writer Conor George has reported today.
The former Ireland back-row forward and current forwards’ coach with the province has beaten off competition from a host of world renowned coaches.
Among those to publicly express an interest is former Ireland and USA head coach Eddie O’Sullivan, while other candidates such as Nick Mallett, Wayne Smith, John Kirwan and Pat Lam were also considered.
Foley’s appointment is a huge fillip for Irish coaches, especially in light of the imminent arrival of Mark Anscombe from New Zealand in Ulster, when he will take over from Bryan McLaughlin.
Anscombe is a relative unknown and with Joe Schmidt in charge in Leinster it is seen as important that at least one of the Big Three in Ireland is led by a home-grown coach.
That said Foley’s imminent appointment is a gamble by Munster given how raw the 38-year-old is in terms of coaching.
He only retired from playing at the end of the 2008 season and launched himself into his coaching career coaching Munster A between 2009 and 2011 (they made the final of the B&I Cup in 2010).
Last season he worked alongside Laurie Fisher with the Munster forwards before taking over as forwards’ coach this season.
He also took responsibility for Munster’s defence over the last two seasons and continued as forwards’ coach with the Irish Wolfhounds side this season.
He temporarily replaced Gert Smal as Ireland forwards’ coach during this year’s Six Nations.
Smal, though, is set to continue with Ireland and Munster will announce Foley’s appointment in the coming weeks.
Article courtesy of the Evening Echo newspaper.
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