Monday 19 February 2018

Eddie O'Sullivan emerges as favourite for Munster backs coaching role

Eddie O'Sullivan
Eddie O'Sullivan
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Eddie O'Sullivan has emerged as the favourite to become Munster's new backs coach.

Interviews have taken place this week for both backs and forwards coaching positions and O'Sullivan is in line to take over from Simon Mannix. O'Sullivan has been working in an advisory role with Garryowen since the turn of the year but couldn't stop them from being relegated for the first time in the club's history.

It is thought Munster favour an all-Irish coaching ticket following the tenure of Rob Penney. O'Sullivan coached Ireland for seven years but was overlooked for the job as head coach of Connacht last year.

The 55-year old had been linked with the vacant coaching position at Cardiff Blues but he now looks set to become part of Anthony Foley's new look Munster set-up.

Meanwhile, current Munster coach Penney has described his side's performance in Saturday's defeat to Ulster as a "shambles" as he tries to pick them up for Friday's Pro12 semi-final at Scotstoun.

Denis Hurley is out of the game after picking up an Achilles tendon injury, while it appears Donnacha Ryan and Stephen Archer's seasons are over. Cathal Sheridan is still a week or two away from fitness.

Since the play-offs were introduced in 2010, no team has managed an away win but Penney is hoping his team will be able produce a performance in Glasgow.

"You never look at those sorts of things. I'm not a massive believer in going in there with a different philosophy whether you're home or away," the New Zealander said ahead of what could be his last game in charge.

"I suppose it just does really emphasise the home advantage component. It's small margins and some teams do perform a lot better at home and we might have been like that a month ago.

"They have strategically picked the time so that there is going to be plenty of fuel on board and it is going to be an interesting environment... That just goes back to the home advantage, we're just going to have to deal with it and so are the officials."

Irish Independent

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