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Rowntree Voted BKT Coach Of The Season Following Munster’s Table-Topping Form

Rowntree Voted BKT Coach Of The Season Following Munster’s Table-Topping Form

Munster head coach Graham Rowntree is pictured with his BKT Coach of the Season award

Munster’s Graham Rowntree has been voted the BKT Coach of the Season following another excellent campaign with the province.

Having led Munster to BKT United Rugby Championship glory last season, the Englishman has followed that up with another excellent run of form post-Christmas, leading his side to 10 wins in a row.

The Munstermen finished top of the table during the regular season, and reached this year’s semi-final stage where they lost 17-10 at home to Glasgow Warriors last Saturday.

The BKT Coach of the Season is voted for by the league’s head coaches, with Rowntree receiving the recognition from his peers.

Lucia Salmaso, CEO of BKT Europe, commented: “Graham has done an excellent job this season with Munster, guiding them to the top of the table in the regular season.

“He has demonstrated excellent leadership with Munster’s stunning unbeaten run, and at BKT we know that a positive leadership is a key to teamwork success.

“In creating a custom ring for the BKT Coach of the Season, our company wants this achievement to live long in the memory. Congratulations to Graham on his fantastic work this season and we wish him all the best in the future.”

While disappointed to fall short in their URC title defence, the former England and British & Irish Lions prop knows Munster are heading in the right direction, saying: “Stick with us, keep the faith. You know, 23 months ago, we put a new coaching team together, it’s changed how we’re playing the game.

“Since then we’ve won a trophy, finished top of the league in our second season and a home semi-final. Lost our way in a knockout game through two bounces of the ball.

“There’s a lot there that the fans can see where we’re going. The players are enjoying the brand of rugby, playing a brand of rugby that everyone wants to see.”

He added: “We came up short (against Glasgow on Saturday), it’s going to sting. It won’t derail us by any means. The fans will stay with us, I know that. I don’t need to give them a message.

“I think we have shown in the last two seasons what we can do and what we are capable of doing. I don’t think we performed poorly (in the semi-final), we weren’t clinical.

“I think at times we played well but definitely, the future is bright. Hopefully we will be able to do it next year.”

Rowntree’s award is the third individual URC honour won by Munster at the business end of the 2023/24 campaign.

Last week saw the ever-present Shane Daly announced as the Ironman award winner, and Jack Crowley was crowned the Next-Gen Player of the Season. Crowley, Alex Nankivell, and Munster captain Tadhg Beirne also featured in the league’s Elite XV for this year.

Only one prize now remains to be announced with the Players’ Player of the Season set to be revealed tomorrow.

Be sure to follow all the URC Awards announcements using the hashtag #URCAwards.


Tackle Machine: Alessandro Izekor (Benetton)

Turnover King: Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh)

Gilbert Golden Boot: Chris Smith (Vodacom Bulls)

OFX Top Try Scorer: Johnny Matthews (Glasgow Warriors)

Ironman: Shane Daly (Munster)

Next-Gen Player of the Season: Jack Crowley (Munster)

Try of the Season (powered by URC.tv)Aphelele Fassi (Hollywoodbets Sharks)

Elixirr Innovation Award: Benetton

Elite XV: Warrick Gelant (DHL Stormers); Jordan Larmour (Leinster), Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors), Alex Nankivell (Munster), Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls); Jack Crowley (Munster), John Cooney (Ulster); Ox Nche (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Akker van der Merwe (Vodacom Bulls), Wilco Louw (Vodacom Bulls), Tadhg Beirne (Munster), Ruan Nortjé (Vodacom Bulls), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Elrigh Louw (Vodacom Bulls), Cameron Hanekom (Vodacom Bulls).

Vodacom URC Player of the Season: Sanele Nohamba (Emirates Lions)

BKT Coach of the Season: Graham Rowntree (Munster)