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Wasps defence coach Ian Costello has been confirmed as the new head of the Munster Academy.

It comes on a day of homecomings for the province, with Simon Zebo's return to Munster also set to be rubberstamped later.

Costello will rejoin his home province from Wasps, where he has spent the last three seasons as Defence Coach, helping them reach the Premiership final in 2020.

The former UL Bohs outhalf served as an assistant coach with Munster from 2011 to 2016 under Anthony Foley's stewardship, before a two-year stint as head coach at English Championship side Nottingham led to his switch to Wasps.

He will now return to Limerick this summer, to be tasked with leading up the Munster Academy, following the departure of Peter Malone earlier this year.

Speaking about his return, Costello said he's delighted to be rejoining the setup, after five years in England.

"My family and I have had an incredible experience in the UK over the last five years at Nottingham and Wasps, but we are very excited for an opportunity to return home and once again work with Munster and the IRFU.

"I would particularly like to thank Wasps for the support and understanding they have shown me and my family. I am deeply passionate about Munster and Irish rugby and look forward to the challenge and responsibility of being part of developing the elite player pathway in Munster," he said.

The previously maligned Munster Academy has seen a rejuvenation in recent years, with the system producing the likes of Gavin Coombes, Craig Casey, Ben Healy, Fineen and Josh Wycherley, Jack O'Sullivan and Thomas Aherne, many of whom enjoyed significant game time this season.

Peter Smyth, IRFU Head of Elite Player Development, said, "Ian is returning to Munster having accumulated knowledge and experience in other rugby environments and is a quality appointment for the Munster Academy. He comes into the role at a time where there are huge opportunities for the development of the elite player pathway in Munster."

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