Munster eye legend Umaga

Munster may turn to All Black legend Tana Umaga to provide the missing link in a new coaching management team with former skipper Anthony Foley.

Umaga is in the frame after contact was made by Munster, but he is unlikely to win the three-way race for head coach, the Irish Examiner understands. Foley remains the short-odds favourite to replace Tony McGahan, but the province are keen to draft in some additional attacking expertise. Canterbury’s Rob Penney is the third candidate, but is considered the outsider.

Munster’s first choice was assistant All Black coach Wayne Smith, but he is likely to team up with new England coach, Stuart Lancaster. Instead Munster are mulling over the possibility — and gamble — of the untried Umaga, who had a brief and unsuccessful coaching stint at Toulon, to work alongside Foley.

Sources in Auckland last night confirmed that he has one more year left on Counties contract in New Zealand, but they would not stand in Umaga’s way.

No appointment will be made by Munster next week, with final candidate interviews yet to take place. An announcement is expected, though, before the end of the month.

Meanwhile, Tomás O’Leary and Lifeimi Mafi make their last appearance in a Munster jersey in Cork tonight before their departures to new pastures.

However, Munster coach Tony McGahan has more pressing matters. Paul O’Connell, Ronan O’Gara, Keith Earls, James Coughlan, Denis Hurley, David Wallace, BJ Botha, Danny Barnes, Dave Foley, Ian Nagle and Dave O’Callaghan are ruled out through injury.

Munster: F Jones; L O’Dea, J Murphy, L Mafi, S Zebo; I Keatley, T O’Leary: W du Preez, M Sherry, S Archer; D O’Callaghan, M O’Driscoll capt; D Ryan, T O’Donnell, P O’Mahony.

Replacements: D Varley, M Horan, J Ryan, B Holland, P Butler, C Murray, S Deasy, I Dineen.

Glasgow: P Murchie, F Aramburu, S Hogg, A Dunbar, C Shaw, R Jackson, C Cusiter, J Welsh, P MacArthur, R Gray, A Kellock (captain), R Harley, J Beattie, C Fusaro.

Replacements: D Hall, R Grant, M Low, T Ryder, C Forrester, H Pyrgos, D Weir, T Seymour.

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