In Pictures: Andy Farrell oversees first Munster training session as temporary consultant
Published 12/01/2016 | 10:11
Andy Farrell spent today casting an eye over Munster's training session after the province confirmed the incoming Ireland defence coach will join Anthony Foley's backroom team as a temporary consultant.
Farrell, who has just been appointed as defence coach to Ireland in succession to Les Kiss, will be spending at least one day a week in Munster primarily on defence, but also to have an input elsewhere on how the team is being prepared.
The move theoretically will be as support to Anthony Foley but the head coach’s position has become increasingly untenable. In early December he started negotiations with Munster on extending his two year deal by another season but it’s understood he is reluctant now to go beyond the end of the season.
Following Munster’s Europe exit on Saturday at the hands of Stade Francais, Foley said: "It's about results. I have said it before and I am clear on it, if I don't feel I can get results there is no point in being here. I have been brought up through here. I have been here a long time, come through the schools and everything. It's about winning. It's not about people. It's about getting results. It doesn't matter, sport has no memory, no conscience. It doesn't care. You have got to be able to do a job and make sure you get results."
Commenting on the appointment, Munster Rugby CEO Garrett Fitzgerald said: "We have been looking for additional support for our coaching staff and with the timely availability of an experienced coach such as Andy Farrell we felt his inclusion would be hugely beneficial in assisting our coaching team."
In relation to Farrell's availability, David Nucifora, IRFU Performance Director, commented: "Andy's gardening leave prevents him from coaching in the international game at this time but he has agreed to an advisory role working with Anthony and his backroom team."
Farrell's own coaching experience is exclusively as a defence coach, first with Saracens – whom he played for when he moved over to rugby union at the end of his league career – and then with the Lions and England. Farrell is expected to move his family over to Ireland as part of his role with Ireland, so it remains to be seen if his national contract allows him to take up a bigger role next season with Munster.
Former Munster and Ireland star David Wallace had called for Farrell to be brought in.
"For me, defence is where the biggest changes need to come," Wallace said.
"As a team all season we've been leaking tries, dominating possession for large parts of the game and teams get the ball and score too easily. It's been happening all season. I know Andy Farrell is coming to Ireland.
"It would be great to secure him, to bring him down to Munster when he's not involved with Ireland and have his influence in Munster.
"I don't know what the situation is there, but I know Irish coaches - not the head coach - have gone to provinces, the likes of Greg Feek and that. I'd be hoping something like that could happen because defensively, if you're leaking tries too easily then you're not going anywhere."