After an underwhelming 18 months in charge of Munster, Anthony Foley is set to be given the reins for a third season.
Foley initially agreed a two-year deal with the option of a third.
Both the Irish Independent and Irish Times report that negotiations have taken place between the two parties regarding this option. Gerry Thornley goes a little bit further, revealing that both Munster and Foley are ready to seal the deal.
There's no doubting Foley's legendary status as a Munster player, but his time as head coach has been disappointing.
Elimination from last year's Champions Cup came in the group stage, albeit in an extremely tough group. This season has seen a lacklustre bonus point win against Treviso and last weekend, a loss at home to Leicester. Qualification hopes continuing into the new year teeter on a victory at Welford Road this weekend.
Decent performances in domestic competition mean little in the face of poor showings in Europe. In the end, European success is what Munster supporters dseire the most.
In fairness to Foley, this season has seen the loss of influential players. Paul O'Connell to Toulon and Peter O'Mahony and Tommy O'Donnell to injury.
Still, there is little sympathy coming from a frustrated Munster fan base.
The shout from many is dissatisfaction regarding what has been labeled a 'jobs for the lads' culture within the province.
What target has Foley reached to give him a new contract? No titles, no joy in Europe, decreased attendances, poor player retention #Munster
— Jack White (@jackwhite24) December 16, 2015
Cannot understand this if it's true. Desperation or lack of imagination from @Munsterrugby ? https://t.co/1CvOfB7qsW
— Michael Finneran (@soilsitheoir) December 16, 2015
@ballsdotie is it April fools day?
— Tadhg Hegarty (@tadhghegarty) December 16, 2015
Over on our Facebook page, fans of the province have come out in force to voice their displeasure with the news.
So he's getting a new contract for losing 3 games in a row and selling JJ. Munster are finished as long as Foley and his backroom team are in charge an experienced coach needs to be brought in
Yet we wouldn't give Rob Penney a good contract. The man who brought us to 2 European Cup semi finals. And a Pro 12 semi. And we were unlucky in all 3 matches.
At a club of this level. The old we will just hire one of the lads doesn't cut it. Axel was a fantastic player and servant to Munster but the last year has been an utter shambles.
The man who allowed JJ walk away because he had more faith in Keatley.. Can't see anything positive happening down south for few years.. Transition period with loss of experienced players aside and some big name injuries of late this decision smacks of "jobs for the boys" as an extension can't be justified at this stage of season and on current form.. Maybe in few weeks if team performance improves..
Not happy.... His game plan is outdated and basic and the backline can barely pass the ball out to the wing.... Losing at home is now a real possibility at matchday and the team is becoming more and more distant with the fans... Not only does Foley and the assistant coaches need to go but so does one or two of those in the board of management... They clearly aren't doing their job as well as they should
Not happy being honest. More annoyed we have a mediocre ail coach as our backs coach. This experiment has obviously failed badly as we are about as dangerous as a chocolate sword. I've resigned myself for bad years ahead unfortunately, maybe we will have a decent team again in a few years with the youth coming through.
That's me not renewing 3 season tickets.
There were two dissenting voices, offering a shred of support for Foley.
I think He hasn't really shown what he can do as a coach. He came in after Penney who completely changed Munster's style of rugby. Foley has probably been trying to revert to old Munster ways. Although have to say it was disappointing to see a Munster team allow a try via maul in, giving the dominance we had in the maul. Obviously Munster rugby feel this is the best move, so get behind the coach and team and stop cheering for certain players being subbed!!!
Que sera. I think the coaching problem is in our back division. Don't know Brian Walsh but to me he seems out of his depth. However coaching is only one of Munsters problems. Money and irfu preventing players coming being others. IMO
Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE