Paul O'Connell set for coaching discussions with Munster after World Cup
The end is just the beginning.
Munster head coach Anthony Foley has confirmed that the province will, more than likely, speak with Paul O'Connell and Donncha O'Callaghan about future coaching roles following this year's World Cup.
The two locks are contracted up with Munster until June 2016 although O'Connell, the Ireland captain, says he will hold off on a decision on his playing career after the World Cup.
Foley commented, 'I haven't had a discussion with Paul or Donncha [yet]. They've got another year to go on their contracts so I imagine there'll be a discussion around November or December time.
'But their intellectual properties they have, it would be a shame for them to go somewhere else. They have a lot of experience, a lot of knowhow, so hopefully other a period of time they can be involved. But you're in a bubble while playing so maybe for a little time they'd need to go out and experience the world a little.'
Foley also found time, during a Guinness PRO12 Grand Final preview, to praise the growing leadership core in his squad.
He said, 'CJ Stander has had a consistent run this year as a No.8 and he's somebody that you look towards for big, ball-carrying moments. His physical leadership on the pitch is something they look up to and he takes a lot of pressure from Peter and Tommy in the back-row.
'We have Paul and Donncha as leaders, both iconic figures, you have Denis Hurley, who captained our side through the Six Nations and was a revelation in that sense with his leadership skills. You have Conor Murray who leads by performance, so if you have those guys in your group who can help your team grow - and that's without mentioning Felix Jones, who's an outstanding talent.'
Now, all they need is Ronan O'Gara back in the fold, another fit hooker, and Andrew Conway and Robin Copeland to stay fit, and they will be a force to be reckoned with in 2015/16.