Munster rugby is in a position that nobody expected only six month ago, with the province once again showing all the grit, skill and determination that took them to two Heineken Cup titles in the last decade.
Following a dismal season last year and the tragic circumstances of the early parts of this term, for the Limerick-based side to be challenging for Pro 12 and Champions Cup honours is something special, something that is just so Munster.
The loss of Munster player, legend and head coach Anthony Foley has galvanised the squad and under director of rugby Johan ‘Rassie’ Erasmus, they have been a near irresistible force as they bludgeoned their way through opponents this term.
The success of the red province and Erasmus has seemingly not gone unnoticed, with the South Africa Rugby Union (SARU) reportedly keen to bring the South African native back into the national set-up.
Despite Erasmus admitting there had been some discussions with SARU, he reaffirmed his commitment to Munster, where he still has two years left on his current deal. Regardless of this, speculation has been rife over just who might succeed the 44-year-old should he leave in the summer.
Recent reports suggested that Erasmus’ number two, Jacques Nienaber, was under consideration for the top job should the position become vacant, but now another name has floated to the surface as a potential appointee at the club.
According to the Evening Echo and Talking Rugby Union, recently departed Toulon head coach Mike Ford has been linked with Munster in recent days. The free agent who previously coached Bath and served time as Ireland defence coach would bring a wealth of experience to any club he joined.
With Erasmus still publicly committed to Munster, any speculation over a potential new head coach is merely that, just speculation. Fans would, if given the choice, prefer for Erasmus to remain on in Limerick, free from the distractions of a top job in SARU.
Next up for the province is the visit of Glasgow in the Pro 12 on Saturday, with kick-off at 7:35pm. Victory in Thomond would all but secure their position in the knockout stages of the competition, with a home semi-final in the rejuvenated ‘Fortress Thomond’.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
[gravityform id=”1″ title=”true” description=”true”]