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'He'll be a better player for it' - Penney on Kilcoyne's Ireland exclusion

The Munster loose head was omitted from Joe Schmidt’s 34-man Ireland squad today.

Kilcoyne (right) has nine caps for Ireland.
Kilcoyne (right) has nine caps for Ireland.
Image: ©INPHO/Giuseppe Fama

MUNSTER COACH ROB Penney is certain that loose head prop Dave Kilcoyne will bounce back from the disappointment of being left out of Ireland’s squad for the November internationals.

Joe Schmidt has gone for Cian Healy, Tom Court and Leinster youngster Jack McGrath to cover the left-hand side of the front row in November, with Kilcoyne a notable absentee having made nine ppearances for Ireland last season.

The 24-year-old’s provincial coach, Penney, has spoken about his disappointment for the prop, stating his belief that Kilcoyne will improve because of this experience. The Munster coach told RedFM’s Big Red Bench that the Limerick man has never lacked for desire.

“There’s never been any doubt about Killer’s motivation. He just loves to play and represent either the red jersey or the green jersey. It’s a disappointment, it’s a little set back for him but the key thing is that he’s a bloody good player and he will be tenacious and he will be desperate.

He’ll fight his way back into the selection criteria again I’m sure. On the back of some really indifferent performances from us, he was really to the fore. He’s still a young developing prop.

“This time last year he was basically making his first foray into regular starts for Munster. 12 months on, he’s had a little set back. It’s not the end of the world for him. He’s a young man, he’ll overcome that and he’ll be a better player for it.”

Penney admitted that he had spoken with Schmidt in the lead-up to the Ireland squad announcement, and had been aware that Kilcoyne was in danger of exclusion. He reiterated his feeling that the powerful front row would be back in green sooner rather than later.


Penney is delighted to see James Coughlan in the Ireland squad. ©INPHO/Billy Stickland.

“I had some communication with Joe. That’s obviously a really disappointing non-selection from our perspective. But Killer’s a resolute and resilient front rower and he’s had setbacks before.

“Jeez, he’s just so desperate to play as well as he can any time he puts any jersey on. He’s got the type of characteristic that he’ll fight back and he’ll overcome that adversity. They won’t keep him out long-term I’m sure.”

Meanwhile, Penney spoke of his pleasure at seeing Mike Sherry and James Coughlan included for the games against Samoa, Australia and New Zealand in Dublin next month. The latter is set to make his international debut and the Munster coach says he deserves to do so.

It’s very pleasing for James, who’s toiled away in this environment for a few years now. He’s been on the fringes a few times now but that’s a great reward for him and it’s a special day from him. Let’s hope he gets an opportunity to put the jersey on.

“Mike Sherry would have to be the best thrower in the country. He’s obviously getting into a position now where he’s going to challenge for that starting spot in the Irish jersey too. So great reward for the two lads that have done well this year.”

Listen to the full interview on the Big Red Bench.

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