This Friday veteran forward Billy Holland will celebrate 10 years to the date since making his senior competitive debut in the Magners League against Llanelli Scarlets at Musgrave Park on September 22 2007, under head coach Declan Kidney. Munster ran out 26-16 winners on the day.
Since 2007 the Cork man has made 167 appearances for Munster and has worked under his fair share of prominent head coaches at the province. In a few months Holland will bid farewell to Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus as the South African returns to his homeland to work with the national team.
The Cork Constitution clubman who made last season’s Pro12 dream team, says it doesn’t feel as though Erasmus and defence coach Jaques Nienaber are going anywhere.
“It’s weird I read an article that Chris Farrell had in the Sunday Times yesterday and it said it’s as though nothing is happening, it genuinely feels that way. You meet Jacques and Rassie every week and it’s as if they’re not going.”
Holland admits that the players are often kept in the dark about any major decisions but that all they ask is that the right man for the job is selected, no matter how long it may take.
“As players, we find out (information) two minutes before the press releases are sent out and we aren’t being told anything.”
“They’re obviously looking, they’re trawling the world. As players, our only request is that they get the right person. If it takes a year, 6 months, 4 months, however long it takes we want the right person. They’re clearly doing that, they’re taking their time. We don’t want someone to come in just because he’s available.
In terms of names I haven’t heard anything, other than what you see in papers and hear in the media, I haven’t heard anything but I trust that there’s a lot of good men on the hunt at the moment.”
32-year-old Holland believes that there are two top coaches at Munster at the moment in Felix Jones and Jerry Flannery, he says that he would be happy for them to take over in an interim capacity in the event that a suitable candidate is unable to join up with Munster before the end of the season.
“We have full confidence in Felix and Jerry to take over and run as interim. It would be great to get it all sorted sooner rather than later but they’re running so much of it at the moment as it is. They’ve taken over huge responsibility, particularly this season and it’s great, they’re doing the vast majority of the coaching, so we’d have no issues in that regard.”
Holland will be on playing duty this Friday in a top of the group clash with Glasgow Warriors in the Guinness Pro14. Exactly ten years on from the date he made his competitive debut.