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Penney adamant he’s joining best club in Europe

Guinness PRO12 Editor

8 May 2012

Rob Penney insists Munster is heralded as the best club in Europe in New Zealand, so even before sitting down with two of its greats it wasn’t a hard decision for him to apply for the head coach job.

Penney was announced as Tony McGahan’s replacement last week and has an impressive coaching record in New Zealand having won the ITM Cup four times in a row with Canterbury.

He will leave Canterbury for Munster but not before coaching the New Zealand Under-20 team at next month’s Junior World Championships, where they will be hoping to defend their title.

Penney admitted he had been headhunted by Munster officials while he also met up with Ronan O’Gara and Paul O’Connell before officially being given the job.

Their desire for the club was clear to see there and then according to Penney however he admits the fact that it was Munster he was applying for was lure enough.

“I was fortunate enough to have half an hour or so with each of them. They’re very impressive men,” Penney told Setanta’s iTalkSport.

“You can see the fire burning in them to get Munster to the forefront of Irish rugby again. They’re very passionate, dedicated rugby men and that was inspiring for me.

“For us in New Zealand, it doesn’t get much bigger than Munster in terms of European clubs. So I was really flattered for someone to think that maybe I should be applying.

“The interview was very thorough. I was really impressed with the calibre of the people that I spoke to throughout.

“On the back of that, I was fortunate enough to get an invite to go over and meet the people of Munster and I was appointed. For me to get the job at Munster is really humbling.”