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Munster extend Foley's contract and confirm new Director of Rugby role

The province will appoint a Director of Rugby for the first time next season.

MUNSTER HAVE ANNOUNCED that Anthony Foley has signed a one-year contract extension as head coach of the province and confirmed that they will appoint a Director of Rugby ahead of next season.

As first reported by The42 last month, the province hope to bring in an experienced figure in their new Director of Rugby role and the search for the ideal candidate is now underway.

Anthony Foley Source: Matteo Ciambelli/INPHO

The IRFU have signed off on Munster’s intention to make an appointment in the role, having initially expressed some resistance to the idea, and CEO Garrett Fitzgerald has formally opened the process.

Foley first moved into the role of head coach with Munster in 2014, succeeding Rob Penney, but his side has struggled this season after reaching the final of the Guinness Pro12 in 2014/15.

As such, Fitzgerald and Munster’s Professional Games Board have been keen to bring in an experienced figure alongside Foley for next season.

Munster say the Director of Rugby will assume “responsibility for the professional rugby programme and elite player development pathway in the province.”

Foley initially signed a two-year deal with Munster, with an option for a third year in that contract. The former Ireland number eight signed that extension option in recent months and will hope for an upturn in form in the final stages of this season.

The42 understands that there will be further changes behind the scenes for Munster, with attack and backs coach Brian Walsh and technical advisor Mick O’Driscoll likely to leave the senior set-up.

“As confirmed previously, we offered Anthony the option to extend his contract as per the initial agreement in 2014 and we are pleased to see him avail of this renewal and commit to the province for a further year,” said CEO Fitzgerald in an official statement.

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“The decision to seek a Director of Rugby was made at Munster Professional Game Board level in consultation with the IRFU, and is in line with our strategic plan for the organisation.”

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