Irish Rugby
Penney excited by Foley partnership
ESPN Staff
May 6, 2012
Canterbury coach Rob Penney, Canterbury v Waikato, Air New Zealand Cup, AMI Stadium, Christchurch, New Zealand, August 14, 2009
Rob Penney is set to link up with Munster in July © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Anthony Foley
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Teams: Ireland | Munster

New Munster boss Rob Penney is adamant he can strike up a winning partnership with forwards coach Anthony Foley despite beating him to the province's top job.

Penney got the nod as Tony McGahan's successor last week and having previously stressed his desire to retain Foley as part of his support staff, he has dismissed suggestions that they may struggle to work together.

"We had a chat and I was really impressed with what Anthony had to say and how enthusiastic he is about what's ahead for us," said Penney. "Our relationship will start to develop over the next six weeks or so and during pre-season when I arrive in Ireland but I came away from our first conversation rapped with what he had to say and how enthused he is about next season.

"Given the circumstances of our situation the dynamics of the management group is a little unique. Anthony was a wonderful player, his playing record is second to none with Munster and Ireland, and he's now transitioning into coaching and is well respected by the players there. I am looking forward to working with him, helping him develop as a coach and learning from him. I am really excited that he is in the fold already.

"What I heard from him in our conversation today really warmed my heart and I am looking forward to building a strong relationship with him and with the other coaches and players," Penney added.

Penney is currently coach of Canterbury and will also take charge of the New Zealand U20s at the IRB Junior World Championships in South Africa next month. He is expected to link up with Munster in July and hopes to have finalised his support staff prior to his arrival with a "highly credible" backs coach in his sights.

"Plans are in place to bring in a backs' coach," he said. "Without, as you can appreciate, naming names we have someone in mind and if things go to plan we will be introducing a new face as the backs' coach in the coming weeks."

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