Simon Zebo is returning to Munster next season on a one-year deal, the province have confirmed.

Zebo, Munster's all-time highest try scorer with 60, left Ireland for Racing 92 in 2018.

The 31-year-old is out of contract and will move back to the side where he made his name, which will open up an international return with Ireland ahead of the World Cup in 2023.

The contract is co-funded between the IRFU and the province, who earlier this month allowed a number of first-team players leave, citing the budgetary pressures brought on by the pandemic.

Head Coach Johann van Graan said: "The opportunity to bring Simon back to Munster came about in early April following a final review of our squad’s budgetary position for season-end and with assistance from the IRFU to support what we believe is a really good deal for Munster and Irish rugby.

"Simon’s desire to return to Ireland and play with his home club is illustrated by his willingness to sign at a level below his market value elsewhere. This has made bringing the province’s all-time leading try-scorer back home possible."

In a statement Zebo said he was "thrilled and honoured" to be returning to his home province.

"My family and I have been so lucky to have enjoyed three incredible years with Racing 92 in Paris and I cannot thank the team there enough, I really have made friends for life and take with me some brilliant memories," he said.

"However, as everyone knows, Munster holds a very special place in my heart and I’ve always said that I wanted to play for them and potentially Ireland again, so when this opportunity arose the lure of being close to home, family and friends and Munster fans, it outweighed all other options.

"I cannot wait to get back to the HPC with the team and hopefully a packed Thomond Park."

Meanwhile Ian Costello has been appointed to the role of Munster academy manager.

Costello returns to the province after working in England for the past five years

Since 2018 he has held the role of defence coach with Wasps and prior to joining the Premiership side he was the head coach of Championship club Nottingham.

With a wealth of experience across numerous coaching roles, he initially worked with the province's academy in 2006 when carrying out his role of IRFU Elite Player Development Officer for two years.

Costello said: "My family and I have had an incredible experience in the UK over the last five years at Nottingham and Wasps, but we are very excited for an opportunity to return home and once again work with Munster and the IRFU.

"I would particularly like to thank Wasps for the support and understanding they have shown me and my family. I am deeply passionate about Munster and Irish rugby and look forward to the challenge and responsibility of being part of developing the elite player pathway in Munster."