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Anthony is going to be a critical part of our coaching staff. He’s a legend in Irish rugby' - Rob Penney

The new Munster head coach says he is looking forward to working alongside his forwards coach.

Rob Penney.
Rob Penney.
Image: INPHO/Photosport/Rob Jefferies

MUNSTER’S NEW HEAD coach Rob Penney believes he can form a strong relationship with his forwards coach Anthony Foley.

The New Zealander was successful in his application for the job vacated by Tony McGahan with fellow hopeful Foley being appointed as part of his backroom staff and Penney says that, after speaking to his new colleague, he is confident that they are both pulling in the same direction.

Speaking on Setanta‘s iTalksport, Penny said:  ”I had a telephone conversation with Anthony not long after I was appointed.

“I was really, really impressed with the calibre of the man even though it was only a short conversation. The other people that I’ve spoken to around Anthony’s involvement with the group assured me that he’s a really good bloke.

“What impressed me is that he’s driven to see Munster succeed. He is going to be a critical part of our coaching staff with his vast experience as he’s a legend in the Munster area and in Irish rugby.

“His experience of the European championships is going to be invaluable for me. I’ll be using his knowledge and what I hope to be able to return is my experience and my knowledge.

I understand that there would be a degree of frustration on his behalf but I just wanted to relay any fears that he might have had about being pushed to the side. That certainly won’t be the case.

“I don’t see there being any issues with Anthony. He’s going to be a very crucial cog in the mix.”

“I just said that hopefully we can form a really strong working relationship, one which is empowering for both of us. Ultimately, his final comment was that he is 100% supportive and really wants the Munster boys to be the best they can be and he will do everything he can to help that happen.

“I was humbled by his response and approach because it could have been a difficult situation.”

When asked whether the job specification included grooming Foley as a possible future head coach for the province, the former Canterbury man added that it was something he expressed his support about during the interview process.

Penny also revealed that he spoke to Ronan O’Gara and Paul O’Connell before the appointment was made.

Watch the Skype interview with Eoin McDevitt and Ger Gilroy here:



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