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Munster attitude is exceptional – Penney

Guinness PRO12 Editor

20 Jul 2012

Simon Zebo was halted in his quest to score a try

Just one week in to his tenure as Munster head coach and New Zealander Rob Penney insists he can see the makings of a top side.


Penney started work at Thomond Park on Monday and has already admitted to being mightily impressed with the enthusiasm surrounding the club.

Munster finished third in last year’s RaboDirect PRO12 before being completely outplayed in their semi-final with the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium.

But going down 45-10 was just the footnote to an unsuccessful and unfortunate season for the Irish province.

Club stalwarts Denis Leamy, Jerry Flannery and David Wallace have all announced their retirements through injury in the last 12 months as well as 26-year-old prop Darragh Hurley.

Added to that was the planned retirement of the 33-year-old lock Mick O’Driscoll at the end of the season.

But Penney insists the club’s youth set-up has produced the bricks and mortar for the new coaching staff to re-build the Munster house.

“Having a really close look over the last few days since I arrived on Monday, I can't speak highly enough about their endeavour, their attitude to their work and their commitment to what's required,” Penney told the Dublin Times.

“It has been exceptional and both Simon (Mannix, new backs coach) and I are in awe of the effort, energy and excitement that the young blokes are bringing.

“Now it is up to us to expand their knowledge and understanding of what they're doing and when they're doing it.

“Their greater knowledge of technical, and more so tactical, awareness is the key for us.

“We have come into an organisation that is in transition, but is well equipped to deal with the challenges in front of it.”