A former Canterbury looseforward, Rob Penney has gone on to enjoy a successful coaching career.
Penney coached Canterbury from 2006 to 2011 and led them to win four ITM Cups in a row. He is also the former coach of the New Zealand under-20 rugby union team, a position he left after the 2012 IRB Junior World Championship.
On 3 May 2012, it was announced that Penney would be the new Munster new head coach, signing a two-year contract. He started in the role in July 2012 with Anthony Foley remaining on as forwards coach.
He took charge of his first competitive game as Munster coach on 1 September 2012, in a Pro 12 match against Edinburgh Rugby at Murrayfield. Despite a slow start, Munster won the game 23–18, to get his coaching career with Munster off to a winning start.
Penney's Munster side had a surprise loss in the 2012–13 Heineken Cup on 13 October 2012, when they threw away an early lead against Racing Métro 92 and lost the game 22–17, but crucially secured a losing bonus point. Munster got their campaign back on track against Edinburgh Rugby the next week with a bonus point victory, winning 33–0 on the day and leaving themselves in a strong position to get out of the group stages. A victory and a loss followed in Munster's next two Heineken Cup matches, both against Saracens. Munster secured qualification for the quarter-finals in their last match against Racing Métro 92, beating them 29–6 to arrange a quarter-final against Harlequin F.C.. Munster, despite being massive underdogs, beat Harlequins 18–12 to reach the semi-final. ] Munster lost the semi-final 16–10 to Clermont.
In February 2014, Penney announced that he would be leaving Munster at the end of the 2013–14 season, having turned down the option of a third year in charge. Penney won the 2013–14 Pro 12 Coach of the Season Award in May 2014.
The Japanese Top League team NTT Communications Shining Arcs announced Penney as their new head coach for the next season on 11 April 2014.
Penney joined Australian Super Rugby side Waratahs on a three-year contract in October 2019.
JW Jan 2021
|2023 - present
|2005 - 2005
|2006 - 2011
|New Zealand U20's
|2011 - 2012
|2012 - 2014
|2019 - 2021
|Shining Arcs Tokyo-Bay Urayasu
|2014 - 2023