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'Mike Prendergast is an adaptable coach' - Finn Russell

Incoming Munster coach Mike Prendergast receives strong praise from Finn Russell.

Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

11:59 11 May 2022



Incoming Munster coach Mike Prendergast is currently the Backs Coach for Racing 92.

Mike Prendergast will join Graham Rowntree in Limerick next season. Prendergast is Munster's next Attack Coach following the departer of Johann van Graan and Stephen Larkham at the end of this season. Prendergast is one of the emerging young coaches in European rugby.

A former Munster player, Prendergast is leaving a star-studded squad in Paris to return home.

One of the players in that star-studded squad is Finn Russell. The Scotland and Racing 92 out-half is celebrated for his creativity and dynamism at 10. But he's also notoriously not easy to coach. Part of that is because of his unpredictability and part of that is his incidents with Scottish head coach Gregor Townsend.

Russell needs a coach who embraces structured chaos. And when he was recently asked about Racing 92's playing style on The Rugby Pod, Russell noted Prendergast.

"Mike's pretty good," Russell said when asked about Racing's framework.

"Mike puts a good structure in place but at the same time we've got options around it. Especially at the weekend here against Sale, that was [different]. Usually we say up til halfway we kick the ball or whatever, but against Sale he was saying off the restart just go straight away.

"Don't be cautious with kicks from your 22, just go for it."

Russell described a coach that is polar opposite to what Munster have had in recent times. Munster's exit strategy is famously derided by their own fans. Conor Murray, a largely outstanding servant for the club, has seen his popularity drop due to the commitment to box kicking. Despite box kicking often being very effective for the team.

Munster played Toulouse close in part last weekend because of how effective the box kicking game was.

But Russell notes that while while Prendergast encourages creativity and aggressive decisions, he's not some out of control maverick. He is an adaptable coach who changes his approach based on the situation or opponent. And presumably based on what players he has available to him also.

"It might change week-to-week depending on who your playing. But Mike is always leading the attack so I'll work really closely with him. He's the one that presents it, but Ill be chatting to him the whole week. He'll send stuff plays and stuff. We've got a really good relationship for that.

"Most boys are on the same page."

After the close loss to Toulouse, the emerging young players and the incoming coaching staff, Munster fans have good reason to be excited again.

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Finn Russell Leinster Rugby Mike Prendergast Munster Rugby Racing 92 Toulouse

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