Friday 21 October 2016

Munster clarify Anthony Foley's role as they confirm new arrivals to coaching staff for next season

Published 10/06/2016 | 13:45

Munster head coach Anthony Foley. Photo: Diarmuid Greene / Sportsfile
Munster head coach Anthony Foley. Photo: Diarmuid Greene / Sportsfile

Munster have confirmed their coaching ticket for the 2016/17 season with a number of departures and some new faces among the backroom staff.

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Jacques Nienaber will join the province as Defence Coach on a three year contract, while Jerry Flannery extends his role of Scrum Coach for a further year and former Munster and Ireland player Felix Jones assumes a technical coaching role on a one year deal.

After indicating his intention to return to the private sector earlier this season, Brian Walsh, who held the role of Assistant Coach for the past two seasons, has completed his time with the province, joining previously confirmed departees Ian Costello and Mick O’Driscoll.

Although Erasmus will be accountable for team performance and all on-field coaching, his primary coaching role will see him take charge of attack while Head Coach Anthony Foley will assume responsibility for line-outs and the breakdown.

Nienaber previously held roles in physiotherapy and strength and conditioning with Currie Cup and Super Rugby sides Cheetahs and Cats respectively. Over a seven year period the incoming coach held defence roles with Western Province, Stormers, Junior Springboks, South African Schools and the Springboks.

 He is currently High Performance Manager with the SARU and will join the province on July 1st, subject to being granted a valid work permit.

Felix Jones, who was forced to retire from rugby last October following an honours laden career, returns to the fold in a technical coaching role with the primary focus on development of the team’s attacking fundamental skills.  The international fullback made 90 appearances, scoring 10 tries, and won a Magners League title in 2011. 

The Sandycove native represented Ireland at all levels, counting the 2007 U20s Grand Slam, the 2009 Churchill Cup and the 2015 6 Nations amongst international achievements.  He is currently studying for a Masters in Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology at the University of Limerick.

Acknowledging the outgoing coaches Munster Rugby CEO Garrett Fitzgerald said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank our departing coaches for their hard work and commitment to Munster Rugby.  In addition to reaching the Guinness PRO12 Final in 2015, each have been instrumental in developing exciting new talent for the province and we wish Brian, Ian and Mick all the best for the future.”

On confirming the full coaching ticket Fitzgerald added: “We are delighted to finalise our coaching requirements for next season and look forward to welcoming Jacques and Felix to the set-up.  Jacques is a highly rated and sought after coach who brings a wealth of experience with him after working across all levels of the game.  We believe he will be a great addition to the coaching staff.  While Felix, who had a hugely successful playing career with both Munster and Ireland, will provide invaluable technical know-how in aiding the development of our young squad.”

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