MUNSTER RUGBY HAVE today confirmed that Rob Penney will leave the province this summer after declining the option to extend his contract to a third year.
With Munster securing a home quarter-final in the Heineken Cup, most assumed that he would continue in the role for at least one more season.
However, the Kiwi’s contract negotiations have been much more prolonged than expected and a statement from the southern province today said that interest from another club had taken Penney away from Ireland.
“I am disappointed to be leaving Munster,” Penney said today’s release, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. I have to take this opportunity presented to me and prioritise my family and personal circumstances at this time.
“We still have a few months to go and the goals remain the same – I want to achieve success with this great group of lads.”
Backs coach Simon Mannix will also move on from the province at the end of his two-year contract.
“Rob has been a very positive influence on this Munster squad and management,” added Munster chief executive Garret Fitzgerald.
“We are disappointed to see him go as we had hoped that he would fulfill his third season. In developing the squad he has highlighted the strength and depth of the Munster panel, with the competition for places as high as ever.”