Belfast Telegraph

Munster give Anthony Foley an ultimatum over new deal

By Jonathan Bradley

Munster will review the position of all their coaching staff when the Six Nations gets under way next month, but chief executive Garrett Fitzgerald insists it remains Anthony Foley's decision whether he will take up the option of a third season in charge.

The province yesterday drafted in Ireland's incoming defence coach Andy Farrell as a consultant who will work with the management team for two days a week in an advisory capacity.

Head coach Foley has admitted that he is considering his position after Saturday's humiliating defeat to Stade Francais and the resulting European exit, but will be given time to find a solution.

Whether the same goes for Foley's backroom team remains to be seen. Ian Costello, Brian Walsh, Mick O'Driscoll and Jerry Flannery are out of contract at the end of the season.

Fitzgerald said those decisions will be put on ice until after Saturday's game against Zebre, after which the province have a week without a game.

"We'll review the situation once the Six Nations kicks off," said Fitzgerald. "He (Foley) has been offered a renewal. Following reviews that would take place in any normal employee situation, we feel he's the right person at this stage to do that.

"In any employment situation, people may get a change of mind for different reasons, or pressure. But that's the way we see it at the moment."

Fitzgerald said that out-of-contract players Conor Murray and Keith Earls are close to signing new deals, while he remains "very optimistic" about the chances of retaining Simon Zebo.

Murray is "at an advanced stage" of negotiations on a new central deal with the IRFU, while Zebo is dealing with Munster with his talks.

Belfast Telegraph


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