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Foley: I may have left Munster if I didn’t get top job

Published 20/02/2014 | 11:16

Anthony Foley was all smiles in Limerick esterday following confirmation he is to succeed Rob Penney as Munster coach
Anthony Foley was all smiles in Limerick esterday following confirmation he is to succeed Rob Penney as Munster coach

New Munster Head Coach Anthony Foley has admitted that he may have left the province if he had not made head coach.

“It would have been something I would have had to consider in the future from this point on. I think it was time for me to take over the team and see if I could do the job.”

The current Munster forwards coach and former Henekein Cup winning skipper came close to being appointed two years ago when he was part of a three man shortlist but was overlooked in favour of current boss, Rob Penney.

“Every time you work with a different coach and a different coaching set up, you learn.

"You learn how to do things their way even if you don’t agree with it. I looked at the last couple of years as a chance to upskill myself a bit more," he said this morning in an interview with on Clare FM’s Morning Focus with John Cooke.

When asked if he had any doubts if he would get the job, he said:

“You always have your doubts because Munster Rugby is such a massive club. You tend to look outside before you look within. Fortunately for me, Munster looked within with me.

“I was chatting to Declan Kidney last night and he said to me ‘you do realise you’re only the second Irish man to coach Munster in the professional era’.

“I’ve gotten an incredible amount of messages from people. I’m a bit taken aback by it.”

“We have to make sure that we give the people of Munster something to smile about. It’s great that people appreciate that this is a big job and they’re delighted to see an Irishman getting it.”

Foley also talked up Munster’s chances for the rest of the season.

“We are in a great position in the Rabo Direct and the Henekein Cup. The players and staff need to be very competitive until the end of the season to see if we can win some trophies.”

The new Munster coach spoke of the pressure that comes with the Munster head coaching job.

“It is a job that excites you but it also scares you. There are a lot of expectations and a lot that is required of you,” he said this morning .

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