O’Gara rules out return to Munster

Munster legend Ronan O’Gara has ruled out a fairytale return to the province as head coach in the wake of Rob Penney’s shock decision to turn down a contract extension.

The former out-half was touted as part of a possible indigenous ticket with Anthony Foley to take over next season, but in today’s Irish Examiner, O’Gara insists: “I will be in Paris again next season. I am adamant about that.”

Munster are likely to trawl both hemispheres seeking the right candidate, but O’Gara writes it is crucial to retain a Munster voice. “And the obvious candidate is Anthony Foley. Don’t get hung up on the job title. In some respects job titles are irrelevant — good coaches just want to work with good coaches.”

Penney’s two-year deal had an option of a third season in charge but it is understood he wanted a longer commitment. “Rob has since attracted the interest of another club and there are terms on offer that are in line with Rob’s long-term needs,” said a Munster statement. Penney and his backs coach Simon Mannix are believed to have agreed a contract in Japan.

Penney said: “I am disappointed to be leaving Munster as I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. We still have a few months to go and goals remain the same — I want to achieve success with this great group of lads.”


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