Saturday 25 March 2017

Foley has been left in a 'tricky position' - Horgan

'Horgan (p) believes that Munster are paying the price for being over-reliant on certain senior players in years gone by.' Photo: Sportsfile
'Horgan (p) believes that Munster are paying the price for being over-reliant on certain senior players in years gone by.' Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Shane Horgan was warned that Munster must evolve their game if they are to return to former glories but he insists that this week's appointment of a director of rugby will leave Anthony Foley in a very difficult situation going forward.

Former Springbok Rassie Erasmus will become the club's first director of rugby after he signed a three-year deal that will see him assume control over matters both on and off the field.

As well as suffering from a lack of confidence, Horgan believes that Munster are paying the price for being over-reliant on certain senior players in years gone by.

"I think there's definitely a malaise there, whether the appointment of a new director of rugby will change that, we'll see," Horgan said. "But I think that Anthony Foley is in a very tricky position, because it never looks good from a personal point of view for someone voicing down over on top of you, and also that creeps into the talk among sets of players.

"Certainly they need to evolve their game. It's something Rob Penney tried to do before Anthony Foley. I don't think he was doing it in the right way.

"I think that they're playing with a lack of confidence at the moment, certainly. I think that's probably something that's developed over quite a period of time. There's certainly a talent deficit there, certainly from where they were coming from, and I think that they have ongoing trouble issues at 10.

"I think it's something that's been developing over a period of time, and generally it comes down to, probably being overly reliant on some senior players for a very long time, and not having the conveyor belt of fresh new talent at a really high level coming in.

"I think at the moment it's necessary to recruit certain players, but more than that, to consistently develop top quality players which they haven't been developing."

Not one Pro12 team made the knockout stages of this year's Champions Cup and although Horgan is adamant that Munster must develop their game plan, he suggested that the same applies for every team in the league.

"I think what we've seen this year, the lack of competition of the Pro12 teams in the European Cup, that you actually have to think about doing something different in rugby," he maintained.

"What was successful for Leinster, Munster and the Pro12 teams of two years ago, I don't think it's going to be successful any more.

"You see a team like Connacht, who are trying to do something different. They're making a huge amount of mistakes, they're not executing what they're trying to do perfectly by any manner or means.

"But they are trying to be different and they're stretching the other teams that aren't used to it, and they're having huge success."

Shane Horgan was speaking at the launch of Heineken's 'Rugby 'Club. For more information visit www.HeinekenRugbyClub.com

Irish Independent

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