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Good news for Jackman, Jones, Flannery and O’Donovan

Munster Rugby

By Frank Quinn
(Pictured, Felix Jones, progressing through the coaching system)
TUESDAY was a good one for some prominent Irish rugby coaches with Bernard Jackman appointed head coach of the Dragons and Jerry Flannery, Felix Jones and Niall O’Donovan promoted to various roles within the Munster Rugby set-up.
The Jackman appointment is to be welcomed. Newport Gwent Dragons is based at Rodney Parade, Rodney Road, Newport, Gwent and the home stadium is Rodney Parade Stadium. The captain in 2017 was 30 year-old back row Lewis Evans.
Dragons finished 11/12 in the Guinness PRO12, with only Zebre below them, so it is an uphill battle for Bernard
The WRU will assume operational control of the Dragons and their Rodney Parade home on 1st July so he is assured of The Welsh Union’s support in his efforts. They have qualified for the European Challenge Cup for next season so they will continue to taste European football
Bernard Jackman is getting closer to home with this appointment. Having left Grenoble in March of this year he is now in the line-up to replace Joe Schmidt in 2019.
His appointment is welcomed by all in Irish Rugby and he is a man with lots of goodwill and now international experience after coaching in France.
The young coaching duo of Jerry Flannery and Felix Jones have both signed two-year contract extensions with Munster while Team Manager Niall O’Donovan has put pen to paper on a three-year deal. Taking on additional responsibilities under Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus, Jerry Flannery and Felix Jones now assume the roles of Forwards Coach and Backline and Attack Coach respectively.
Following retirement from playing and a stint in the strength and conditioning profession Flannery joined Munster’s coaching staff as Scrum Coach at the start of the 2014/15 season and has played his part in guiding the squad to two Guinness PRO12 finals and a Champions Cup semi-final over a three-year coaching period.
Like Jerry, Felix has also successfully managed the transition from player to backroom staff.
After an injury enforced retirement from the game in 2015 Jones embarked on the coaching pathway as Technical Coach at the start of the 2016/17 season, reaching a Champions Cup semi-final and Guinness PRO12 final in the past year. Felix will work with the Ireland coaching team for the final summer tour game against Japan over the coming weeks.
In continuing his long association with the province Team Manager Niall O’Donovan will continue his role of Team Manager until at least June 2020.

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