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Munster Rugby CEO Garrett Fitzgerald says the province has helped top coaches to achieve their ambitions

Munster Rugby CEO Garrett Fitzgerald says the province has helped top coaches to achieve their ambitions

SPORTSFILE

Munster Rugby CEO Garrett Fitzgerald says the province has helped top coaches to achieve their ambitions

Munster chief executive Garrett Fitzgerald says that the province not only has a great tradition of helping players reach their peak, but has also developed a great reputation during the professional era for assisting coaches fulfil their ambitions.

Fitzgerald has no doubt that Rob Penney will go from strength to strength following his two seasons with Munster and that whoever comes in to replace him will also thrive.

The Munster chief has already received several applications from coaches wanting to take over from Penney and he is not surprised by that level of interest.

"I think if you're talking about the attraction of it as a coach, for some reason or another Munster seems to be a place that fellas want to come to to coach," he said.

"Every top coach in the world, or most of them, put their name forward at different times to look for positions, and some of the ones that are on my desk at the moment would reflect that."

He said that the level of interest was not just the opportunity to coach a side with the rich tradition of Munster, but also because previous coaches had gone on to great things on the international stage.

"I think that the fellas that come here do fairly well when they leave. If you go through Jim Williams, Tony McGahan, Alan Gaffney, you could go on and on, they've all done exceptionally well, so I think it's a place people still want to be.

"It's a place where fellas ring up all the time looking to know if there are vacancies, and hopefully it will continue."

Anthony Foley remains the firm favourite to take charge next season with Ian Costello promoted to backs or assistant coach, but for now the Munster players and management want to concentrate on the games in hand.

Penney said, that while the 54-13 victory over Cardiff Blues at the weekend was pleasing, he sees room for improvement and will be looking for it when they take on Zebre at Musgrave Park tomorrow.

"We need to build on last week's second half and we probably took a little bit more time to get into our work last week. Cardiff have been difficult to break down at times but we weren't where we needed to be," said Penney, who added that it would be a special night for Donncha O'Callaghan when he becomes the most capped player in Munster history.

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