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Rowntree to join Munster coaching team

Rowntree to join Munster coaching team

Former British & Irish Lions coach Graham Rowntree will be bringing his talents back to these shores after agreeing to become Munster’s forwards coach later this year.

The 48-year-old, who was part of the Lions coaching teams that achieved a tour victory in Australia in 2013 before drawing in New Zealand two years ago, is currently Georgia’s forwards coach.

But following this year’s Rugby World Cup Rowntree will be bringing his talents to domestic rugby in Ireland.

“I’m delighted to be joining such a prestigious club,” said Rowntree.

“Although fully committed to Georgia until the end of the World Cup, I’m really looking forward to working with Johann [van Graan, Munster head coach] and his team.”

A stalwart at Leicester Tigers as a player, prop Rowntree also pulled on the famous red Lions jersey during the 1997 tour of South Africa and the 2005 tour to New Zealand, earning two caps.

Once his playing days were over – he who won five English Premiership titles and three European Champions Cups – he cut his coaching teeth with Leicester and held a variety of roles with England.

In 2013, Rowntree was installed as Warren Gatland’s forwards coach as the Lions claimed a 2-1 series win over Australia and in 2017, he was scrum coach as the tourists drew 1-1 with the All Blacks, claiming victory in Wellington before a thrilling 15-15 stalemate at Eden Park saw the series end honours even.

Big things are expected of Rowntree, who has also coached at Harlequins, when he arrives to bolster the Munster cause, replacing Jerry Flannery, who departed the club at the end of the season.

“We are really pleased to have secured Graham in such a timely manner,” said Munster’s acting CEO Philip Quinn.

“The Professional Game Board and Johann have been tirelessly working on our coaching appointments for the past month and to secure a coach of Graham’s calibre is a credit to the work going on behind the scenes.

“We believe Graham is a fantastic appointment for the province as he brings a wealth of experience from an extensive list of top-level coaching positions, and will add further value to our coaching ticket.”

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