Departing Penney confident over Munster’s future

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

Anthony Foley, who takes over as Munster head coach next season
DEPARTING Munster coach, Rob Penney hopes the lessons players learned in their bitterly disappointing RaboDirect PRO12 semi-final defeat to Glasgow on Friday will spur them on under his successor Anthony Foley.

DEPARTING Munster coach, Rob Penney hopes the lessons players learned in their bitterly disappointing RaboDirect PRO12 semi-final defeat to Glasgow on Friday will spur them on under his successor Anthony Foley.

Munster lost their third semi-final of Penney’s two-year term in that 16-15 reverse at Scotstoun. While Penney heads to Japan to take up a coaching role this summer, it now seems likely that Brian Walsh will be joining Munster’s backroom team as attack coach in the coming days. There is also speculation that former Munster and Ireland hooker, Jerry Flannery, who has been working at FA Cup winners Arsenal FC in recent times, will also have a role in the new-look backroom team.

Former Munster and Cork Constitution utility back Brian Walsh has plenty of AIL coaching experience, and he looks set to join a backroom team which also will include Ian Costello and Mick O’Driscoll, as well as head coach Foley. Rob Penney says Foley is inheriting a ‘capable’ squad of players.

Penney said: “They (Munster players) will react well, there is a good bit of resilience there. That will be knowing away at them when they are lying on the beach. Let’s hope it spurs them on. The group that is there is capable. I wouldn’t like to think they will use it as motivation but it is just another level of experience that they have all got.

“They know what they have to bring to get themselves in a position to win these games.”

During Penney’s two-year term as head coach the province played a total of 61 games in all competitions, winning 37 of them, while 23 fixtures were lost and one was drawn.

Munster have also officially confirmed that centre James Downey will be leaving the province this summer.