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grow your own

More quality Irish coaches available than ever before, says Munster CEO Fitzgerald

The southern province’s chief also insists ‘it was never policy’ to recruit an entirely Irish coaching ticket.

MUNSTER CEO GARRET Fitzgerald insists it was not the province’s intention to appoint an all-Irish coaching ticket, but he is pleased the pool of talent has allowed him to do so.

The southern province yesterday confirmed the installation of Brian Walsh, Ian Costello and Jerry Flannery in support of head coach Anthony Foley. And Fitzgerald today moved to highlight that the men hired were the best available, not just the best Munster men available.

“We looked extensively at who was available,” Fitzgerald told Limerick’s Live 95 FM at Munster’s UL training base today.

“In professional rugby worldwide, the number of players, coaches and everybody available is quite small, because the whole professional rugby market is very small.

“That’s how we ended up in that situation. It was never policy to take on all Irish coaches, we wanted what was best for Munster and, as it turns out, that’s what we’ve ended up with.”

The reason the situation has come about, Fitzgerald says, is merely the growing amount of time that professionalism has had on the game on these shores.

“We’re fortunate enough, with the growth and length of time professional rugby has been there, that some of the past players are coming aboard and are available.

“None of these people were available before,” said the CEO presumably pointing at Foley’s assistants rather than the new head coach himself.

“The good [coaches] that were available before within the country normally had employment – you might say, more dependable employment. In Irish rugby there are only a few employers and people are conscious of their security.

“But now we have a different type of individual becoming available because they’ve had their rugby career, they’ve entered into businesses that they own and run themselves and they’re more available.

“The big reason is that we now have more Irish people capable of doing these jobs which weren’t available before.”

Interview courtesy of Limerick’s LIve95FM. Listen live here.

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