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Dream team: Galwey backs Umaga for Munster role
The legendary lock has called for a coaching ticket of Anthony Foley and Tana Umaga, saying: ‘We always need an outside influence in Munster’

CURRENTLY, MUNSTER RUGBY has a short-list of three names to replace Tony McGahan as head coach this summer.

However, only one of those is a true viable option for Mick Galwey.

As current forwards coach, Anthony Foley is the clear favourite to take the reigns at Thomond Park, but if he is to step up, who will assist him?

With 130 caps for the province Galwey knows what makes Munster tick, and the Kerryman feels that ‘outside influences’ have been central tenets to Munster success down the years.

From Alan Gaffney and Jim Williams onto McGahan, there is clear history of southern hemisphere coaches and players adding to the folklore.

Australia has provided more than it’s fair share, now perhaps it is New Zealand’s turn.

“He (Umaga) has been over and I know he’s spoken to the lads and some of the players and certainly it will be a possibility. Does he have the experience to take on Munster? I’m not too sure.”

“We’ll always need outside influences in Munster.” Galwey later added before outlining to how he feels the coaching box should look next season:

“I’d love to see Anthony Foley take over. I think we need somebody to come in, like Tony McGahan a fantastic job. He brought in new ideas and he was there with Declan Kidney in the background and he did some fantastic work with Munster and ideally we need somebody in the same category.”

To those who maintain that a lack of years should still be a barrier for either Foley or Umaga taking the job, Gaillimh made the comparison with a Kiwi who has spent most of his career close to these shores, and was only 35 when appointed coach of Ireland.


“You look at Warren Gatland, what he’s done. he’s had a couple of Grand Slams, he’s going to be the Lions coach next year, he’s coached Wasps to the Heineken Cup and Premiership and he was a young coach when he took over.

“So, I don’t have a problem giving young coaches the reigns, and (once there) they learn.”

Galwey has no doubt that Umaga and Foley would work well in tandem, and the dressing room would surely hold a massive level of respect for each of them.

The only question marks are whether Umaga would leave his post at Counties Manukau to become an assistant to a man a month younger than himself.

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