Munster set to tie down assistant coach positions

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Munster set to tie down assistant coach positions

WITH head coach Johann van Graan committing his future to Munster until June 2022, the focus switches to the futures of the provinces assistant coaches Jerry Flannery and Felix Jones.

The two former Munster players, who have made an impressive transitions to the world of coaching, are out of contract at the end of this season.

Former Munster and Ireland hooker Flannery returned to Munster the start of season 2014/15 after retiring from the game in March 2012.

Flannery was promoted to the role of forwards coach at the beginning of last season. With 94 Munster caps and 41 Ireland caps to his name the Limerick man has also worked closely with the Munster academy and provincial age-grade squads.

Backline and attack coach Felix Jones was forced to retire from rugby due to injury in October 2015.

Jones returned to Munster at the beginning of the 2016/17 season in a technical coaching role with the primary focus on development of the team’s attacking fundamental skills.

Taking on additional responsibilities under former Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus, he was confirmed as the backline and attack coach at the beginning of the 2017/18 season.

The international full-back made 90 Munster appearances, scoring 10 tries, and won a Magners League title in 2011.

South African JP Ferreira is contracted to work as the province's Defence Coach until June 2020.

Johann van Graan said: "I think we have worked very well together, Jerry and JP and Felix and I. That will be one of the next steps in the process. As soon as we have got something to announce we will do that.

"We’re also looking forward to the future, we need to keep improving and we need to keep evolving. Hopefully in the next few years we can keep continuity number one, but also bring in people that can add value.

"I think it’s one of the things of professional sport, you can’t keep in the same spot too long because other teams will pass you. You have just got to keep moving forward."