Munster have confirmed the backroom staff that will join the province’s head coach Anthony Foley and team manager Niall O’Donovan at the start of the 2014/15 season.
Next season will see a full provincial coaching panel in place with former Munster centre Brian Walsh joining the province as assistant coach, with responsibility for attack and backs, while current skills coach Ian Costello has been promoted to assistant coach, with responsibility for defence and kicking.
Head coach Anthony Foley and Mick O’Driscoll, announced as technical advisor in April, will be reunited with their former team-mate Jerry Flannery as he completes the coaching ticket as scrum coach.
The new Munster coaching team will commence their roles on July 1 after signing two-year contracts that will see them remain with the province until at least June 2016.
Incoming assistant coach Walsh has over 10 years of coaching experience. As the head coach of Cork Constitution he enjoyed a wealth of success over eight seasons, securing two All-Ireland League and Cup titles and a Bateman Cup.
At national level the Corkman coached the Ireland Club international squad in 2008 and 2009, and assisted with the Ireland Under-21s in 2005.
A member of the Munster Rugby Academy board for the past year, Walsh most recently assisted the PBC Senior Cup squad and Cork Constitution Under-20s.
From his club coaching days he has been instrumental in developing some of Munster’s current squad with Simon Zebo, Peter O’Mahony, Duncan Williams, Billy Holland and Stephen Archer all benefiting from his tutelage.
The promoted Costello, working with the Munster Rugby squad since 2011, has also held roles at Munster Under-20, ‘A’ and Academy levels.
A former director of rugby at UL Bohemians, the Limerick-based coach assisted Foley with the Munster Under-20s and ‘A’ squad before assuming the role of Munster ‘A’ head coach in 2011 and leading the side to a British & Irish Cup title. He has been credited for aiding the skill development of Munster’s current rising stars.
Former Munster and Ireland hooker Flannery returns to the fold after retiring from the game in March 2012. Life after rugby saw the Grand Slam-winning player complete a Masters in Sports Performance at the University of Limerick before joining Arsenal Football Club in 2013 for a work placement as a strength & conditioning coach.
With 94 Munster caps and 41 Ireland caps to his name, the Limerick-man will also work closely with the Academy and provincial age-grade squads.
On confirming the backroom staff, Munster Rugby CEO Garrett Fitzgerald said: “We have spent the last few months carrying out an extensive recruitment process and believe we have chosen the right candidates to take Munster forward.
“We have a unique situation here – in not only appointing all Irish coaches, we are extremely proud to appoint coaches that have learned their trade within the province. It is a reflection of the level of coaches on offer in Irish rugby.
“With Anthony at the helm we look forward to seeing this group work together in achieving success for Munster Rugby.”