New Munster head coach Rob Penney, along with team manager Niall O’Donovan and backs coach Simon Mannix, gave their first press conference in Cork this week. But the eagerly anticipated first words of the new boss gave little away about the future of the provincial side…
While a number of questions still remain in the air about the future of Munster rugby, there was no doubting the enthusiasm in the air when the new management team of the provincial side met the media for the first time at CIT this Wednesday afternoon.
The new Munster head coach, Rob Penney, caught some of the media gathered at the Munster Ruby Offices in CIT quite on the hop with his opening apologies for the tardiness of his arrival, before embarking on a discussion of his thoughts on arriving in Ireland from New Zealand last week.
In the broadest possible terms of course. Neither Penney, new team manager Niall O’Donovan nor backs coach Simon Mannix were going to sate the media’s or the public’s curiosity about the future of Munster rugby to too great an extent…
Despite the fact that Penney and team manager Mannix are both going to be living in Cork, this should not necessarily be taken as an indication that the dual training base tradition—which sees the players training in Limerick and Cork, and playing at Musgrave Park on Leeside and in Thomond Park in the Treaty City—is coming to an end in the favour of Cork.
An independent consulting body is currently studying a range of proposals submitted from the Institutes of Technology in both Cork and Limerick, as well as the University of Limerick, before making a recommendation to Munster Rugby as to where the most suitable base for a central training facility should be located.
And indeed, there has been speculation that Penney had originally been leaning in the direction of Limerick as his new Irish home.
Whatever, the situation as it stands at the moment is that Penney and Mannix, as well as scrum coach Paul McCarthy, will be living in Cork, while Anthony Foley, skills coach Ian Costello and team manager O’Donovan will be based in Limerick.