Rob Penney has been confirmed as the new head coach of Munster, succeeding Tony McGahan who is due to leave at the end of the season.
Penney has been head coach of Canterbury since 2006, winning four straight ITM Cup national provincial titles, while he also spent time as assistant coach with the Crusaders.
The 48-year-old has signed a two-year contract, subject to obtaining a valid work permit, and will join up with his new club in mid-July after he has fulfilled his duties as coach of the defending World Champions New Zealand Under 20 side during next month’s IRB Junior World Championship in South Africa.
"We conducted a thorough search to find a replacement for Tony McGahan and were delighted with the calibre of the candidates. Rob Penney's record speaks for itself and we look forward to welcoming him to Munster," Munster chief executive Garrett Fitzgerald commented.
Current forwards coach Anthony Foley, who had been many people's tip to succeed McGahan, will remain in his position with Penney set to finalise the rest of his management team in due course.
Confirming Penney's departure, Canterbury Rugby Football Union CEO Hamish Riach, said: "Rob has been a great servant for Canterbury rugby. We are very sorry to lose a talented coach, but this is a fantastic opportunity for him and we wish him all the best."