Andy Farrell to continue defence role with Munster

Ireland assistant coach is helping province until it finds replacement for Jacques Nienaber

Ireland defence coach Andy Farrell at Munster squad training in UL on Monday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland defence coach Andy Farrell at Munster squad training in UL on Monday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

Andy Farrell is to continue overseeing the Munster defence until the province appoints a replacement for Jacques Nienaber.

The Ireland assistant coach has been working with Johann van Graan but the Golden Lions franchise in South Africa has confirmed that Munster are talking to their defence coach JP Ferreira.

“Andy Farrell will be in for the next two weeks for two days a week,” said van Graan. “All credit to him for his enthusiasm and what he delivered last week. Fantastic guy, he could be at his home but he is coming over for two weeks.

“And thanks to Joe Schmidt for the helping hand. For the foreseeable future, against foreign opposition, Andy will be part of the coaching team.”

On Ferreira, he added: “I said last week that we are looking to fill the position of defence coach as soon as possible. We have got a few names that we are looking at. As soon as I have got more information we will make an announcement but we are definitely looking to get a defence coach in as soon as possible.”

Big focus

Liam O’Connor has been ruled out with a knee injury but Simon Zebo (ribs) and Jack O’Donoghue (shoulder) are expected to be fit to face the Leicester Tigers this Saturday in Limerick.

Around this period last season Rassie Erasmus was permitted, by the IRFU, to bolster the Munster squad in areas weakened by injury with South Africa players Jaco Taute and Thomas du Toit.

“Anything is possible. Our big focus at this point is Leicester at the weekend once we know more about the injuries we have got plans in place. There is constant communication between David and myself and Garrett. I don’t like to comment about any financial things. I don’t want to speak about things I don’t know anything about. It gets handled. I know what I want and at this stage we will wait for confirmation of the injuries and look at our planning ahead.”

Tyler Bleyendaal will not feature this weekend as he recovers from a neck problem. “We’ll just take it day by day with him, like I said last week. He should be a water carrier again over the weekend but at this stage nothing new that I can give you.”

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