Munster yet to conclude new deals with coach Rob Penney or Paul O’Connell
Talks still ongoing between the parties as new year beckons
Paul O’Connell: yet to sign on the dotted line for a new deal with Munster. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Munster may have got a lot of contract business concluded before Christmas with the likes of Conor Murray and Donnacha Ryan tied down to new deals, but they head into 2014 with neither the future of their coach nor most talismanic figure sorted out.
He said he was hopeful a new contract for the 34-year -old would be sorted out soon but that neither he nor O’Connell’s discussions were locked into a timeframe.
“We are desperately keen to make sure he stays here given the guy’s presence and situation and what he has given us all, it would be unheard of that he’d disappear anywhere else,” said Penney.
The Kiwi is heading into the final quarter of his two-year deal and with qualification for the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup all but wrapped up, a lot of Munster supporters expected that a new contract for him would be announced by now.
“Things are progressing. The organisation have been great to deal with. I can’t speak highly enough about their administration and the people in behind the scenes and it’s been great and we’re still working through it,” said Penney.
Of more concern to him at the moment is what sort of squad he has available to him in the coming weeks. Munster head to Ravenhill on Friday night bidding to extend their winning run to ten games.
Penney said Conor Murray and Simon Zebo would return to the fray towards the end of next week and were not yet ruled out of the upcoming Heineken Cup tie with Gloucester.
Flanker Sean Dougall and centre James Downey (groin) will also miss this week’s game but should be fine for the Gloucester trip.
Donnacha Ryan will not make that clash and is unlikely to be fit for the final Heineken Cup clash with Edinburgh, but Penney said the lock would be available for the Six Nations.