Munster Rugby blow as David Wessels opts for Melbourne

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Munster blow as David Wessels opts for Melbourne

South African David Wessels set to coach the Melbourne Rebels and not Munster

MUNSTER’S search for a new head coach continues with confirmation late on Thursday night that South African David Wessels has agreed to move to Melbourne to coach the Rebels in Super Rugby.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Wessels was set to be confirmed as Munster head coach with the province’s Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus and defence coach Jacques Nienaber set to depart the province at the end of the year.

The Limerick Leader understands that Wessels was interviewed about the soon-to-be-vacant role at Munster. However, he has opted to take over at Australian side the Rebels rather than move to Munster.

However, Munster is still expected to announce their new head coach within the next two weeks, the Leader understands.

Wessels was a former assistant coach to Rassie Erasmus at South African Super Rugby side, the Stormers. 

Thirty six-year-old Wessels was head coach at the Western Force last season, but the side have been cut from Super Rugby.

However, in an interview in the Australian newspaper, Wessels has confirmed that he is set to continue his coaching career in Australia with the Rebels.

Wessels has revealed he will remain in Australia because it’s the country that first gave him his chance.

“My dream has always been to coach professional rugby and it’s Australian rugby that’s given me that opportunity,” Wessels told The Australian newspaper.

“From a loyalty perspective — and I know we haven’t had the greatest couple of months here in Perth with all the speculation about the Force — but the position I’m in, I owe it in large part to the people within Australian rugby.

“A lot of the (Force) staff and players will now have the opportunity to come with us to Melbourne and I feel that if I turned my back on Australia now, I would live the rest of my life wondering where it could have ended up.”