Thursday 18 September 2014

Rob Penney leaving Munster for coaching role in Japan

Published 11/02/2014 | 14:58

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Munster head coach Rob Penney is leaving at the end of the current season

Munster Rugby CEO Garrett Fitzgerald has said that Rob Penney had been offered a three-year deal in Japan and that offering an improved offer on his current deal "wasn't considered".

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“In the current climate, the money in rugby is in Japan and France,” says Fitzgerald, “I think [Penney] has got an opportunity of a three-year contract in Japan, it takes him closer to home.”

Munster's current forwards coach Anthony Foley has been widely tipped to succeed the Kiwi having madei t down to the final three in 2012.

“Well I think anyone in any job, if they spend longer doing it, will be more experienced," he added

“The last time when we had the search for a coach, Anthony was in the final three and did exceptionally well at the time. He’s worked exceptionally well with Tony [McGahan] and with Rob. He’s worked at national level and he’s getting much more experience.

“He’s getting wiser all the time. If you ask me ‘When is a person sufficiently experienced?’ At some stage you have to get the head coach position. Anthony will get the head coach position, be it here or if he has offers elsewhere – that has to be taken into account.

“I think you get more experience by the day and Anthony has certainly proven himself at international, U20 level, A level and now with the senior squad.”

Fitzgerald has dismissed the possibility of former Ireland head coach and two-time Heineken Cup winning coach Declan Kidney joining the province as a Director of Rugby, insisting that the current structure would remain in place.

“Our structure is based around having a head coach and assistant coaches. Whilst Ulster have a director of rugby, we haven’t any intention of changing our structure as it works well for us," he said.

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