Stephen Kenny waiting on new deal from FAI; Munster waiting to leave Cape Town

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Katie McCabe and Ireland have a must-win World Cup qualifier against Georgia on Tuesday night. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Katie McCabe and Ireland have a must-win World Cup qualifier against Georgia on Tuesday night. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny must wait to find out if he is to be offered a new contract by the FAI, following a 12-person association board meeting last night. FAI chief executive Jonathan Hill will present “positive, detailed and confidential” feedback to Kenny and his management team, after they have inspired an upturn in fortunes for the national side over recent months. Kenny’s current deal expires in July 2022, while a new one could see him lead Ireland as far as the 2024 European Championships in Germany. An FAI statement read: “The Football Association of Ireland can confirm that board members undertook positive and detailed discussions around a review of the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualification tournament in its entirety at its scheduled monthly meeting in Dublin this evening. CEO Jonathan Hill will now provide feedback to the Republic of Ireland men’s senior team management accordingly and will move the process forward. As with all employee matters, this process will remain confidential.”

Munster’s 49-strong touring party remain stuck in South Africa, as they wait for the green light to leave Cape Town and return to Ireland following a positive Covid-19 case in their squad which was detected over the weekend. Johann van Graan’s side face a race against time to be ready for their Champions Cup opener away to Wasps on December 12th, with hotel quarantine facing them on arrival back into Ireland. Munster will be hoping they can train during their isolation period, or face being massively undercooked against a Wasps side who played as recently as last Friday. The fate of the United Rugby Championship as a whole could be decided later, as Gerry Thornley writes: “Hindsight is 20-20 vision and the organisers of the United Rugby Championship (URC), whose board will hold their latest crisis meeting today, probably now wish that they had gone ahead with contingency plans to have the South African sides hold their round six and seven ‘home’ games in Italy. Understandably, the four South African sides were already weary enough of being on the road from their five-week tour to Europe for the first four rounds of the competition. They didn’t particularly fancy another three weeks after the November international window.”

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