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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 29 February, 2020

Would ex-England coach Rowntree be a good appointment for Munster?

Gavan Casey, Ryan Bailey and Andy Dunne discussed whether he would be a good fit at the province on The42 Rugby Weekly.

Rowntree has been on three Lions tours as a coach.
Rowntree has been on three Lions tours as a coach.
Image: AAP/PA Images

ANDY DUNNE SAYS the appointment of Graham Rowntree to Munster’s backroom team would be a ‘pragmatic’ one, rather than a signing the province’s supporters will get excited about. 

The former England forwards coach has emerged as a possible candidate to fill the position vacated by Jerry Flannery on Johann van Graan’s coaching staff, with The42 last night reporting Rowntree has visited Limerick this week

Rowntree, currently part of the Georgia backroom team for the World Cup, would bring a wealth of experience to the position having previously worked with England and Harlequins, as well as being on three Lions tours. 

Speaking on The42 Rugby Weekly, former Leinster and Connacht out-half Dunne said Munster may be better served to bring an outside voice in — as Leinster have done with Stuart Lancaster — this summer. 

“There are two ends of the spectrum. Do they really embrace that identity and bring in a home-grown hero?” Dunne began. “In a perfect world do they go and look at a ROG or a Paul O’Connell and really go back to ‘this is what we are or who we are’.

“There’s a fear, I think, among ex-players that you go into that environment and certainly, you’re walking down the street in Limerick or Cork and things aren’t going well and people are having a go at you. It becomes very parochial and very difficult to live in that environment as an ex-legend. It’s very, very tricky.


“They might look at, down the line, somebody coming in to be a director of rugby. An ex-player who is maybe not the one who gets abuse hurled at him all the time for performances on the field. Maybe that kind of angle. They bring in a hardy experienced guy, who has been international level, Lions level, and is not going to be intimidated by that Munster cultural side of things and will be all about performance.

Dunne added: “I hasten to say an exciting appointment but maybe a pragmatic one.

“With the coaching experience he’s [Rowntree] got, I doubt he’ll be interested in taking a job as a stop-gap. The other query is that would he have an eye on being a head coach or running a team, as he has never done that. Andy Farrell has now come through the ranks as a coach and done that. You’ve got to run that through van Graan as well, is there a guy there with ambitions to be the top guy and is that going to cause hassle?”

You can listen to the full episode here:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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