"I was honoured to represent Munster as often as I did, and it's not that I set out with the goal of one day becoming Head Coach, but when the initial offer came from Tony McGahan to get back involved, naturally I jumped at it. Working at various different levels within the organisation I was fortunate enough to be in involved with the Wolfhounds and Irish setup for a period of time and I suppose you could say it was a case of right place right time when this job came up. I don't think anybody expected Rob to move on but he did, and as a consequence I'm delighted to be given this opportunity and looking forward to the challenge ahead.
Foley went on to discuss the recruitment of an all Irish coaching ticket.
"Ian Costello (Assistant Coach with responsibility for defence and kicking) was already here, a proven performer and well known within the group. It was nice to have Ian promoted to more of a lead role within the group.
"Brian Walsh's (Assistant Coach with responsibility for attack) appointment came at the end of a world search for an attack coach, and when it came down to it Brian was the best man for the job. He talks the right language when it comes to how we want to attack and the fact he was a former Munster player and would have coached a number of the current team in Cork Con is an added bonus. Unfortunately, while on holiday with his family he snapped his achilles tendon, but despite an operation the following Monday, he was back to work on the Wednesday and on the pitch with the lads by Thursday. It would have been easy for him to put his feet up for a few weeks and let that get right, but instead he took straight to the coaching field and everyone around him has fed into that same work ethic.
"When looking for a Technical Advisor I felt Micko (Mick O'Driscoll) was the right man for the job. Showing great ambition he earned his coaching badges within Ireland while coaching with Cork Con, Pres and the Irish Club side last season. This demonstrated to me a guy who had left the professional game but still had a passion for the game and wanted to give something back. He was someone I knew could do a job for me as Technical Advisor in terms of helping me with the forwards and nurturing the next generation of Munster players as Head Coach of the Munster As.
"I was keeping an eye on Jerry Flannery (Scrum Coach) during his time over in Arsenal. I liked his strength and conditioning background and going forward our front row will benefit from his knowledge of strength and his understanding of where the power comes from. Having a front row who has played at the highest level with such a background is invaluable to the group and what I've seen so far hasn't disappointed me.
Between the signing of players and the nurturing of indigenous talent within the province, the Head Coach will hope to feature some new names on teamsheets during the coming season.
"Robin Copeland has come in from Cardiff Blues as a direct replacement for James (Coughlan) and played an incredible tournament in Romania (Nations Cup for Emerging Ireland), so we're looking forward to getting him out on the pitch with some ball in hand.
"Andrew Smith flew in last Thursday and at 6ft 3' he's a big outside back. Speaking to Laurie Fisher (former Munster Forwards Coach) he informed me that Andrew was one player the UC Brumbies didn't want to let go. We're glad he made the decision to move to Munster and he's a great professional whose expertise will add a lot to our young back line.
"Tyler Bleyendaal will join upon the conclusion of the ITM Cup in New Zealand, while tighthead prop Martin Kelly has joined from Trinity (Dublin University Football Club). This guy is an interesting character, a qualified orthopaedic surgeon who has put that on hold to try out professional rugby so we hope his decision reaps rewards for him.
"From our Academy it's great to see some very big lads coming though. In the forwards you've got the likes of John Madigan, Sean McCarthy and Jack O'Donoghue who recently captained Ireland at the Junior World Championship in New Zealand. There's some very young exciting back as well in David Johnston, Cian Bohane and Darren Sweetnam.
"These guys are on the periphery and some people won't know about them but they're training well and will be given an opportunity. It's important that we balance what we're bringing in from the outside with what we're producing from within, and if we can get that right it leaves us in a really strong position within our squad."
Munster face London Irish in the pre-season SEAT Challenge at the Waterford RSC on Friday August 29th, KO 7:30pm. Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here.