Graham Rowntree has been confirmed as the new Munster forwards’ coach.
The 48-year-old will take up the role after the Rugby World Cup.
The former England prop is currently on the Georgia national team's coaching staff and will join the southern province following the Rugby World Cup in Japan. Rowntree has signed for Munster until the Summer of 2022.
Munster had been left looking short on their coaching ticket following the decisions of Felix Jones and Jerry Flannery to not sign new contracts. Securing such a major coaching signature was pleasing for the province's management, who had come in for criticism following the Jones and Flannery incidents.
Acting CEO Philip Quinn said, “We are really pleased to have secured Graham in such a timely manner. The Professional Game Board and Johann have been tirelessly working on our coaching appointments for the past month and to secure a coach of Graham’s calibre is a credit to the work going on behind the scenes.
We believe Graham is a fantastic appointment for the province as he brings a wealth of experience from an extensive list of top-level coaching positions, and will add further value to our coaching ticket."
Rowntree is only one coach and Munster are still short of numbers in that department. Given the style of play and the side's failure to score many tries, particularly at the business end of competitions had led to speculation the next big name on the coaching ticket would be in charge of the backs. Philip Quinn is aware the coaching recruitment is still incomplete.
“We understand there is more work to be done on the coaching front, and we will continue in our search for experienced coaches to join Johann and the province.”
Rowntree was a one-club man as a player, representing only Leicester Tigers and was capped 54 times by England.
He retired from the Leicester playing staff straight into the coaching staff in 2007. Rowntree then took up the forwards' role with England. On the successful Lions tour of 2013, Rowntree was in charge of the forwards. Four years later Rowntree was the scrum coach for the New Zealand tour.
Looking forward to joining the province, Rowntree said, “I’m delighted to be joining such a prestigious club. Although fully committed to Georgia until the end of the World Cup, I’m really looking forward to working with Johann and his team.”