Friday 19 January 2018

Contenders for the Munster job

Anthony Foley

It is still seen as a bit early to give Foley the top job. However, he has done very well as forwards coach and knows exactly what makes Munster players tick. As they said of him when he won his first cap in 1995 aged only 21, if you are good enough you are old enough.

Eddie O'Sullivan

Has an outstanding CV that includes three Triple Crowns. His time as Ireland supremo divided opinion, but the fact he used to play on the wing for Munster cannot harm his candidacy.

Michael Bradley

Another native, Bradley was lined up as Munster coach back in the early 2000s only to be passed over. Did not get the credit he deserved during a seven-year stint with Connacht. Has done superbly to bring Edinburgh to a Heineken Cup quarter-final in his first year in Scotland; his recent signings and plans for the future could make him unlikely to jump ship.

John Kirwan

All Blacks legend and ex-Italy and Japan coach is being linked with every job that comes up, including Ulster. Would be a high-profile capture but would need time to bed in.

Conor O'Shea

Played for Leinster but hails from Munster and is regarded as one of the most forward-thinking coaches in Europe and a future Ireland coach. Although Harlequins messed up when a Heineken Cup quarter-final was theirs for the taking, he has done well in London and his commitments there could rule him out.

Mike Ruddock

Has just overseen a famous win for the Ireland U-20s in France; credentials include winning the Grand Slam with Wales in 2005. If Munster go for him, he could end up coaching his son Rhys.

And one from left field

... Les Kiss

Another Australian immersed in the Irish game. Ireland assistant coach, but Kiss has long been considered a prime candidate for a leading role with a big club. Well versed in the provincial-national relationship.

Irish Independent

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