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Saturday 19 August 2017

Foley signs for one year

CEO Fitzgerald on hunt for Director of Rugby

Munster coach Anthony Foley
Munster coach Anthony Foley

Anthony Foley has signed a one-year extension to his contract to remain on as Munster head coach.

"As confirmed previously, we offered Anthony the option to extend his contract as per the initial agreement in 2014 and we are pleased to see him avail of this renewal and commit to the province for a further year," said Chief Executive Garrett Fitzgerald.

However, there is change afoot as Fitzgerald was able to confirm Munster's intention to introduce a Director of Rugby at the province from next season.

"The decision to seek a Director of Rugby was made at Munster Professional Game Board level in consultation with the IRFU, and is in line with our strategic plan for the organisation," said Fitzgerald.

The successful candidate will be responsible for the professional rugby programme and elite player development pathway in the province.

The fact former Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan has severed ties with Biarritz Olympique makes the Youghal-raised man an obvious candidate.

There was consternation everywhere outside of Connacht when O'Sullivan failed to merit even an interview before Pat Lam succeeded Eric Elwood out West.

Of course, Declan Kidney was appointed Head of Sport and Physical Activity at University College Cork in 2013.

The other Corkman would be seen as a better fit for a Director of Rugby role given his reputation as a fine manger of people.

However, there could be a perception of Munster turning back to their storied past rather than looking forward were they to approach Kidney to move back into the professional game.

A quick glance at the other three provinces shows how Connacht have benefited from the employment of Pat Lam and how Ulster have gone for the Australian influence of Les Kiss.

The lessons learned from times past may just prompt Fitzgerald to scan the southern hemisphere for a candidate, perhaps someone known to the IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora.

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