Rob Penney rules out replacing Rassie Erasmus

Rob Penney has ruled out a return to Munster to succeed Rassie Erasmus as head coach, but said he would be open to coming back to the northern hemisphere, or Ireland, in the future.

Penney, who guided Munster to two European Cup semi-finals in his couple of seasons in charge of the Reds, said he has committed to the NTT Communications club in Japan for another two years and won’t be considering any offers until 2019.

The Munster players in this summer’s Irish tour to the USA and Japan brought Penney out to dinner in Tokyo last month just when it was emerging that Erasmus was returning to South Africa.

Several of the Munster players in the Irish squad had blossomed under Penney during his two years in Ireland, but he ruled out a return to take charge.

“I’ve just confirmed for two more years here, which takes to me to just short of the World Cup, so we will decide, based on where the family is at and our situation then, what we will decide to do.

“But, hopefully, there will be enough petrol left in the tank and I’d like to keep involved if I can. I am not available for anything at the moment, but who knows what’s next, we will just have to wait and see,” said the former New Zealand U20 coach.

Penney, who took over from Tony McGahan in the summer of 2012, didn’t rule out a return to the northern hemisphere or Ireland at some point.

“You just never know in this game, you certainly don’t. If the opportunity came up [for a return to Ireland or the northern hemisphere], surely I would be very open to it, but for now I have committed to staying with NTT here in Japan until 2019 and we will see what happens after that.”

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