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Bernard Jackman believes now is a bad time for Munster to look for a new coach

Bernard Jackman Munster

Bernard Jackman has suggested that Graham Rowntree should take over as Munster’s new head coach, as there could be a lack of suitable candidates available.

Rowntree signed a new two-year contract extension with Munster this week which will keep him with the province until the summer of 2024, bucking the recent trend of coaches leaving Limerick.

Both head coach Johann van Graan and senior coach Stephen Larkham will leave Munster at the end of the season, which has left those in charge of the province with plenty of work to do in replacing the two key figures.

Former Ireland international Jackman was speaking on the RTE rugby podcast and argued that Rowntree taking over as head coach might be the best option available to Munster.

Bernard Jackman on Munster’s head coach situation.

“This could be a great opportunity to throw the shackles off and see,” said Jackman when discussing Rowntree taking the top job at Munster.

“If Rowntree worked out as being a good head coach, which at 50 years of age in the environments he’s been in, the fact he’s in the squad he should have a good idea of what’s needed.

“If we’re honest, it’s also not the time to go looking for a head coach, it’s a World Cup cycle, realistically in June there won’t be the creme de la creme available.

“Maybe Rowntree knowing what the squad needs, and being allowed to pick his own team might be the best option. Unless he gets it now as a caretaker role I don’t think he’s going to get it though.”

Rowntree has never acted as a head coach before.

Although Rowntree has plenty of experience in coaching, having spent time with Leicester Tigers, England, the British and Irish Lions, Harlequins and Georgia before joining Munster, he has never taken a head coach role before.

Rowntree has worked as a forwards coach for every team he has been with and looks set to continue in that familiar role with Munster over the next two years.

While there have been plenty of big names linked to Munster, there has been no indication as of yet that the province are getting close to deciding who will take the reins next season.

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