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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 22 June, 2018

I'm not the man to replace Rassie at Munster, insists Rob Penney

The former Reds boss has two more years in Japan.

The kiwi coach had two years at Thomond Park.
The kiwi coach had two years at Thomond Park.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

ROB PENNEY HAS ruled out a return to Munster to take over from Rassie Erasmus but said he would be open to coming back to the northern hemisphere or Ireland at some stage in the future.

But Penney, who guided Munster to two European Cup semi-finals in his couple of seasons in charge of the Reds, said he has committed to the NTT Communications club in Japan for another two years and won’t be considering anything until 2019.

The Munster players in this summer’s Irish tour to the USA and Japan brought Penney out to dinner in Tokyo last month just when it was emerging that Erasmus was returning to South Africa.

Several of the Munster players in the Irish squad had blossomed under Penney during his two years in Ireland but he ruled out a return to take charge.

“I’ve just confirmed for two more years here which takes to me to just short of the World Cup, so we will decide based on where the family is at and our situation then what we will decide to do.

“But hopefully there will be enough petrol left in the tank and I’d like to keep involved if I can.

“I am not available for anything at the moment. But who knows what’s next, we will just have to wait and see,” said the former New Zealand U-20 coach.

Penney, who took over from Tony McGahan in the summer of 2012, didn’t rule out a return to the northern hemisphere or Ireland at some point.

“You just never know in this game, you certainly don’t. If the opportunity came up (returning to Ireland or the northern hemisphere), surely I would be very open to it. But, for now, I have committed to staying with NTT here in Japan until 2019 and we will see what happens after that,” added Penney.

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John Fallon

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