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Graham Rowntree to succeed Johann Van Graan as Munster head coach

Graham Rowntree, pictured, will succeed Johann Van Graan as Munster head coach (David Davies/PA)
Graham Rowntree, pictured, will succeed Johann Van Graan as Munster head coach (David Davies/PA)

Former England prop Graham Rowntree will succeed Bath-bound Johann Van Graan as Munster head coach.

Munster and the Irish Rugby Football Union announced that Rowntree will be promoted from the province’s current forwards coach after signing a two-year deal that runs from July 1.

Rowntree, who has previously worked as part of England and British and Irish Lions coaching teams, moved to Munster in October 2019.

The 50-year-old made almost 400 appearances for Leicester and won 54 England caps. He also toured with the Lions in 1997 and 2005.

He spent eight years as an assistant England coach, and filled that role with the Lions on their 2013 and 2017 tours. He also had coaching jobs at Leicester and Harlequins.

“I am hugely honoured to be taking over the role of head coach for a club of this calibre, one that means so much to me and my family,” Rowntree told Munster’s official website.

Johann van Graan
Johann Van Graan, pictured, will be succeeded by Graham Rowntree as Munster head coach (Niall Carson/PA)

“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.

“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 this club.”

South African Van Graan leaves Munster at the end of this season, when he will move to the Gallagher Premiership.

Munster chief executive Ian Flanagan added: “Graham’s extensive coaching experience and knowledge for the game makes him the perfect candidate to lead this squad forward.

“With Graham stepping up at the start of the new season, it will be a seamless and natural progression from the work that has been carried out to date.

“For now, we will continue our focus on the remainder of this season, with Graham supporting Johann and the coaching staff in achieving our goals.”