As had been widely speculated, Anthony Foley has been named by Munster as Rob Penney’s successor as head coach.
Bookmakers had suspended betting on the successor to Rob Penney, and Munster CEO Garret Fitzgerald today confirmed that Foley will assume the role from the start of July on a two-year contract, with an option for a third.
The former captain and current forwards coach was the leading contender for a promotion to the top job he narrowly missed out on two years ago, but has served his time at club and both country.
In January 2011, he teamed up with Eric Elwood to coach Ireland Wolfhounds in their friendlies against Scotland A and England Saxons, and has been involved ever since. In 2012 he temporarily replaced Gert Smal as Ireland's forwards coach during the 2012 Six Nations Championship, after Smal was forced to miss the remainder of the tournament with an eye condition.
"I am very happy to be selected as the next Munster Rugby Head Coach. It is a huge honour and privilege for me," he said.
"I am very fortunate to have played and achieved success with this club at the top level, my home club, and now I look forward to leading the next generation of Munster players to future success in the red jersey.
"But before that we have a job to do this season and I will continue to play my part, working closely with Rob [Penney], Simon [Mannix] and Ian [Costello], as we push for titles."
Penney leaves for Japan at the end of the season and there have been a succession of calls for the installation of a home-grown coach.
“Anthony was the stand-out candidate to succeed Rob Penney at the end of the season and I believe he will do an excellent job in leading this squad forward,” CEO Fitzgerald said.
“His experience and knowledge is of huge benefit to this young Munster side and I'm sure it will be an easy transition for both the players and backroom team to carry on the positive progress already made.”
Fitzgerald confirmed that nobody else was interviewed for the post.