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Graham Rowntree Confirmed As Next Munster Head Coach

Graham Rowntree Munster

Graham Rowntree coached Munster to the BKT United Rugby Championship title in his first season in charge ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Munster Rugby and the IRFU are pleased to confirm that Graham Rowntree will be promoted from forwards Coach to the role of head coach at the province from July 1, 2022.

Rowntree will commence the role of head coach at the start of the 2022/23 season after signing a two-year deal.

The former England prop made the move to Limerick in October 2019 on completion of his Rugby World Cup coaching duties with Georgia Rugby.

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In his third season as forwards coach, Graham and his family have settled well into Limerick life, noting earlier this year: “I have made my thoughts about Munster widely known throughout my time so far, and for me and my family it really has been an easy decision, a non-decision if truth be told.

“We’ve put down roots here and have no desire to move anywhere else.”

With an impressive coaching CV and vast experience, Rowntree previously held coaching roles with the British & Irish Lions, England Rugby, Harlequins and Leicester Tigers.

Working closely with the IRFU, Munster will advance with next steps in securing the backroom team that will work with Graham from next season as head coach Johann van Graan, senior coach Stephen Larkham, and defence coach JP Ferreira depart the province at the end of June.

IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora commented: “I would like to thank the Munster Professional Game Committee for their work and diligence during this process.

“It is important that Munster have someone who understands the unique history and culture of the province and has the experience to maximise the talent in the squad.

Graham was very impressive throughout this process and demonstrated he has the capabilities to spearhead the next chapter of Munster Rugby.”

On confirmation of the promotion, Rowntree added: “I am hugely honoured to be taking over the role of head coach for a province of this calibre, one that means so much to me and my family.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed every moment here and I fortunately get to work with an incredible group of staff and players who share a common goal each day in striving for success for this side.

I’ve talked about our fantastic supporters before and again at the weekend we stepped off the bus to a huge red welcome in Exeter. Who doesn’t want to be part of that, that’s special!

“I believe we have the established structures in place with the resources and facilities to match and that it will be a smooth transition for the coaching ticket we assemble in ensuring continued development and success for Munster.

“Before then I have a role to complete this season and working closely with Johann, Steve, and JP is the immediate focus and priority for now.”