An apology has been issued by the Irish Independent following an article on Munster coaching duo Felix Jones and Jerry Flannery.
Earlier this month Munster Rugby and the IRFU confirmed that forwards coach Flannery and attack coach Jones would depart the province at the end of the season.
In a statement the IRFU specified that both coaches had declined their respective contract extension offers.
However in an article by former Ireland international and outspoken columnist Neil Francis, he claimed that the pair had been ‘sacked’ and that the statement released by the IRFU was misleading.
“In an article written by Neil Francis and published by us on Sunday, May 19, 2019, it was falsely stated Felix Jones and Jerry Flannery had been “sacked” from their coaching positions with Munster Rugby. The article also falsely gave the impression that Munster rugby had tried to disguise the alleged sacking by issuing a deliberately misleading press release.
“We wish to acknowledge that Neil Francis was completely incorrect in stating that Felix Jones and Jerry Flannery were sacked by Munster Rugby. We take this opportunity to correct the record and to acknowledge that both Felix Jones and Jerry Flannery left Munster Rugby because they decided to decline their contract renewal offers.
“We acknowledge that Munster Rugby did its best to extend Mr Jones’s and Mr Flannery’s contracts.
“Neil Francis and the Sunday Independent apologise to both Felix Jones and Jerry Flannery.”
Following news that the coaches were to depart, Johann Van Graan said that they wanted to keep the pair.
“Both Jerry and Felix are fantastic coaches. They’re guys that I’ve trusted with my life, and both ways. We’ve worked well together so well and I guess you guys can see from the passion in my eyes I really wanted to keep them.”
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