Munster have confirmed the appointment of Graham Rowntree as their new head coach.

The former England prop will step up from the role of forwards coach on 1 July to replace Bath-bound Johann van Graan.

Rowntree, who joined the province in 2019, will need to put together a whole new coaching unit as senior coach Stephen Larkham is returning to Australia at the end of the season, while defence coach JP Ferreira is joining Van Graan at the Premiership outfit.

"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," said Rowntree.

"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 for this club.

"I've talked about our fantastic supporters before and again at the weekend we stepped off the bus to a huge red welcome in Exeter. Who doesn’t want to be part of that, that’s special!

"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.

"Before then I have a role to complete this season and working closely with Johann, Steve, and JP is the immediate focus and priority for now."

Rowntree succeeds Johann van Graan (left) who is joining Bath

Rowntree was previously assistant and forwards coach with England over a seven-year period, as well as coaching with Harlequins and Leicester, where he made almost 400 first team appearances.

The 50-year old won 54 England caps and three Lions caps between 1995 and 2006.

David Nucifora, performance director of the IRFU, said: "I would like to thank the Munster Professional Game Committee for their work and diligence during this process.

"It is important that Munster have someone who understands the unique history and culture of the club and has the experience to maximise the talent in the squad.

"Graham was very impressive throughout this process and demonstrated he has the capabilities to spearhead the next chapter of Munster Rugby."

Munster Rugby chief executive Ian Flanagan added: "Graham's extensive coaching experience and knowledge for the game makes him the perfect candidate to lead this squad forward.

"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."