ANTHONY FOLEY is the front-runner for the position of Munster forwards coach after the province confirmed that Laurie Fisher's contract will not be renewed at the end of the season.
Fisher joined Munster as forwards coach in 2008, with his experience of the ELV laws through coaching the Brumbies in the Super 14 a major factor in his signing.
Signed on a two-year deal, Fisher's contract was extended to include the current season, but, following the province's exit from the Heineken Cup at the group stage for the first time in 13 years last month, Munster said yesterday that "by mutual consent, the option of a fourth season has not been considered by either party."
Foley, who retired from rugby in 2008 after 202 competitive matches for Munster and 62 caps for Ireland, has made a successful switch to coaching, working with the Munster 'A' squad and as assistant coach to Fisher. He also coached the Ireland Wolfhounds forwards under head coach Eric Elwood, overseeing an impressive pack performance in last Friday's win over the England Saxons at Ravenhill.
Another name who could come into the mix is Niall O'Donovan, who had successful stints as forwards coach under Declan Kidney with Munster and Eddie O'Sullivan with Ireland.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Munster," said Fisher. "To be involved in a club with such history, tradition and passion has been a wonderful experience.
"I'm disappointed to have not achieved the holy grail of Heineken Cup success, but there is still a European challenge there for us this season and the Magners League is very much in our sights."