Rowntree to take over as Munster head coach

Graham Rowntree has been with Munster as forwards coach since 2019 and will now step up to the top job on a two-year contract; Johann van Graan is moving to Gallagher Premiership side Bath at the end of the season

Last Updated: 12/04/22 12:36pm

    Graham Rowntree is stepping up to become the new Munster head coach

    Graham Rowntree is stepping up to become the new Munster head coach

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

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

    The 50-year-old, who has previously worked as part of England and British and Irish Lions coaching teams, initially joined Munster in October 2019 and is delighted to be stepping up to the top job.

    “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 said.

    “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.”

    Rowntree made almost 400 appearances for Leicester and won 54 England caps during his playing career. 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 club level with Leicester and Harlequins.

    South African Van Graan leaves Munster at the end of this season, when he will move to the Gallagher Premiership aiming to revive Bath’s fortunes

    Johann van Graan is joining Bath at the end of the season

    Johann van Graan is joining Bath at the end of the season

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

    “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.”