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Monday 11 December 2017

Foley favourite to land Munster job

THERE is strong speculation that Munster coach Tony McGahan will leave the province at the end of the season to become the Australia defence coach.

So far, McGahan has taken Munster to the Heineken Cup quarter-finals as the number one seeds and has them lodged third in the Rabodirect PRO12 League.

McGahan has already informed his squad of the decision to leave, even though he has led the side to the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup and the top four of the Pro12.

The Queenslander first arrived at Munster in 2005, ironically, as their defence and backs coach to Declan Kidney. He played a central role in their Heineken Cup victories against Biarritz (23-19) in 2006 and Toulouse (16-13) in 2008.

McGahan took over the reins as head coach in 2008 and led Munster to their Heineken Cup semi-final defeat by Leinster (25-6) in 2009 and another subsequent setback against Biarritz (18-7) in the 2010 semi.

He was also there for Munster’s revenge over Leinster in the Magners Grand Final at Thomond Park last May.

Anthony Foley is the favourite to succeed him, with ex-Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan and New Zealand’s World Cup-winning assistant Wayne Smith also leading choices, after contract talks between McGahan and Munster ended earlier this month.

Munster may also eye Michael Bradley, but the Edinburgh coach has only just begun a successful spell leading the Scots to the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

Conor O’Shea would be a popular choice, although he has just signed a two-year deal to stay on as coach of English side Harlequins.

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