Anthony Foley to replace Rob Penney as Munster head coach

Former Ireland international Anthony Foley will replace Rob Penney as Munster coach at the end of this season

Anthony Foley will become Munster’s new head coach in the summer replacing Rob Penney.

The 40-year-old will move up from his current role as forwards coach with the Pro12 league leaders on a two-year deal to June 2016, with an option for a third after Penney opted not to take the role for a third year to head to Japan.

“I am very happy to be selected as the next Munster Rugby Head Coach. It is a huge honour and privilege for me,” Foley, a former Ireland international, said.

“I am very fortunate to have played and achieved success with this club, my home club, at the top level and now I look forward to leading the next generation of Munster players to future success in the red jersey.

“But before that we have a job to do this season and I will continue to play my part, working closely with Rob [Penney], Simon [Mannix] and Ian [Costello], as we push for titles.”

Foley made 201 appearances for his home province in a 14-year career, capped off by leading Munster to Heineken Cup glory in a 23-19 win over Biarritz at the Millennium Stadium in 2006 before retiring at the end of the 2007-08 season to take up a coaching role with the Irish province.

The Limerick man has served the club’s backroom team as a technical advisor and assistant defence coach, head coach with the Munster Under-20 team and head coach of the Munster British & Irish Cup squad.

Foley has also worked as forwards and head coach of the Ireland Wolfhounds and forwards coach for Ireland.

Munster CEO Garrett Fitzgerald added: “Anthony was the stand-out candidate to succeed Rob Penney at the end of the season and I believe he will do an excellent job in leading this squad forward.

“His experience and knowledge is of huge benefit to this young Munster side and I’m sure it will be an easy transition for both the players and backroom team to carry on the positive progress already made.”

Foley will take up the reins as head coach on 1 July.

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