Penney impresses on first trip

He had them at hello.

What all those job interview manuals tell you about first impressions is clearly true if the way Rob Penney bowled over the Munster selection panel is to be believed.

When the former Canterbury No 8 turned head coach pitched up in Ireland for his first interview for the soon to be vacant Munster top job last month he went a long way to securing a move to the two-time Heineken Cup champions.

“We interviewed a lot of higher profile individuals than Rob and we had an idea of the type of individual we were looking for,” Munster Rugby chief executive Garrett Fitzgerald said yesterday. “On first meeting him, he is an imposing man, he is an ex-back row forward, he has a very good presence, he is a good individual, that was your first impression when you met him.”

Munster captain Paul O’Connell also felt the same vibe when he met Penney on the New Zealander’s visit to the training facilities at UL.

“I met him very briefly. He seemed a very impressive guy,” O’Connell said. “Obviously he has got a great record and seemed like a real nice guy, a great knowledge.”

O’Connell added that Penney’s arrival this summer gives all the players a fresh chance to stake their claims for next season.

“I’m sure people will see it now as a clean slate,” he said.


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