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Mike Prendergast coming home to Munster after nine years in France

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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Ex-Munster scrum-half Mike Prendergast is to rejoin the Irish club as its new attack coach from Racing 92. The soon-to-be 45-year-old has spent the last nine years in France honing his craft, coaching at a variety of clubs. 

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It was 2013 when he switched from Young Munster in the All-Ireland League to join Bernard Jackman at Grenoble and he has since coached at Oyonnax and Stade Francais before switching to Racing where he has excelled in guiding a backline that features some of the world’s best players, including Finn Russell and Virimi Vakatawa.   

It was last month when Graham Rowntree, the current Munster forwards coach, was appointed as the incoming head coach to succeed Johann van Graan when he leaves for Bath at the end of this season. 

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Rowntree told The Rugby Pod at the time: “The guys I want to bring in (as assistant coaches) are fairly similar to me. I need to get that nailed over the next couple of weeks and within a few days of pre-season they will know what we are doing, how I want to change things.”

The new head coach was certainly a man of his word as the signature of Prendergast has been swiftly secured. A club statement read: “Munster and the IRFU are pleased to confirm that Mike Prendergast will join the province as attack coach on a three-year contract ahead of the 2022/23 season.

“The former Munster player will join incoming head coach Graham Rowntree’s coaching ticket from July, making the move from Paris where he has held the position of attack and backs coach with Racing 92 since 2019. Prendergast has a wealth of experience coaching at the top level and in addition to Racing 92 he has held assistant coaching roles with Stade Francais, Oyannax Rugby and Grenoble since making the move to France in 2013.

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“On completing his professional playing career in 2009 the scrum-half continued playing with his club, Young Munster, while also progressing on the coaching front as he held head coach and director of rugby roles with the Limerick side.

“On the provincial coaching front, he previously worked closely with academy manager Ian Costello and team manager Niall O’Donovan when overseeing the backline for the Munster A’s that enjoyed British and Irish Cup success in 2012.”

Prendergast described the culture at Racing as similar to what he experienced when he was previously at Munster, telling RugbyPass in the run-up to the 2020 Heineken Champions Cup final: “I have been to different clubs and had good experiences but here it’s something different.

“In terms of environment it reminds me of home Munster-wise, the boys are very friendly with each other, they all work for each other and the foreigners who come in buy into it. We have a good culture here.

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