After the departure of coaches Jerry Flannery and Felix Jones last month, Munster fans have been desperate for a replacement worthy to lead the club and its proud history. With the announcement that former England forwards coach Graham Rowntree will join the club next season, this is a signing that has pleased many fans.
Rowntree will move on from his role with Georgia Rugby, arriving at Thomond Park after the World Cup.
Munster fans have flooded to Twitter to show their excitement at this signing, and the prospect of having a coach of Rowntree’s pedigree.
A fierce scrummaging prop during his playing days, Rowntree was not only a Grand Slam winner with England, three-cap British and Irish Lion, and Heineken Cup winner with Leicester, but has guided the Lions to a series win in Australia and draw with New Zealand as forwards coach.
He is one of the most respected scrum and forward coaches in the northern hemisphere, and should be a suitable replacement for former player Flannery.
This is what the fans have said:
Now that is a signing and a half!!!
— Will Bateman (@plasticpaddy1) June 4, 2019
Serious statement.good to get our business done early before world cup
— Dermot (@bigdermo) June 4, 2019
Finally a decent signing, hallelujah!!
— Fred Sharkey (@FredSharkey) June 4, 2019
Wiggy back in full time work. From one job where they love their forwards; to another. Seem to remember the odd Tigers/ Munster game during his playing days too https://t.co/hTSv3QMwuX
— Andrew McKenna (@talkMacca) June 4, 2019
— Fergal Collins (@fergal_collins) June 4, 2019
— Geoff K. ?? (@ZonalGK) June 4, 2019
Delighted. Exactly the type of experienced guy we're looking for, seems a guy who'll buy into the culture with Munster. Very happy with this. Hopefully we'll soon have the other 2 coaches in soon and that they'll be as good appointments as this one. https://t.co/6C9OaKGTEQ
— Thomas Moroney (@tmoroney4697) June 4, 2019
Some statement of intent https://t.co/LssqguDBZH
— Adam Moursy (@adammoursy) June 4, 2019
Unbelievable signing. https://t.co/JOzthJ8XiA
— Seán Hanley (@Seanhanley94Me) June 4, 2019
Throughout European rugby history, Munster have always been renowned as having one of the most wily and brutal packs, boasting the likes of Paul O’Connell, Alan Quinlan and John Hayes, to name a few over the years.
In fact, if there is one club that has traditionally had a pack to match Munster’s, it would be Leicester’s.
Rowntree was part of the Leicester team that dominated European rugby in the early 2000s, alongside the likes of Martin Johnson and Neil Back.
Munster fans will hope that Rowntree can restore some of the men in red’s glory days, which have slipped away from them in recent years. Despite making the Pro14 and Champions Cup semi-finals this season, they came up short yet again. They have seen their rivals Leinster steal the limelight in recent years, but Rowntree could be the man to help the two time European champions rise to the top of Irish rugby again.
Watch now: Rugby Explorer – Italy
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.