Munster have confirmed that Denis Leamy will return to the province to take over as defence coach next season.
The move has long been on the cards, as like Mike Prendergast, incoming head coach Graham Rowntree identified Leamy as a homegrown coach whom he wanted as part of his new-look backroom team.
Leamy will leave Leinster, where he has been working for the last three years, as the Tipperary native rejoins Munster on a three-year deal.
The 40-year-old initially began working with Leinster as an elite player development officer before he was appointed contact skills coach last year.
Following a hugely successful playing career with Munster and Ireland, Leamy’s coaching career saw him work with several sides across the province over seven years including Young Munster, Rockwell College, Clonmel, Cashel and Garryowen.
The 57-times capped back-row also worked as an assistant coach with the Ireland U-20s.
The Leinster players spoke highly of Leamy's impact and his signing is a real coup for Munster and Rowntree.
“It’s been a very enjoyable few years with Leinster Rugby and I’d like to thank the club for the opportunity to join, first as an EPDO and over the last while as a contact skills coach,” Leamy said
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with players down in the centre of excellence and then up in UCD and trying to add to the environment and to the development of the players as best I can.
“I feel I have developed myself as a coach working with Leo (Cullen) and the rest of the coaching and backroom staff and this season in particular will live long in the memory.
"Finally, I’d like to thank the players, in particular, for a brilliant three years at Leinster.
"The opportunity to continue my coaching career and to join Munster Rugby and be closer to home, is an opportunity that I feel I have to take to grow as a coach and for family reasons and I look forward to working with Graham and the rest of the team there in due course."
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen wished Leamy well in his new role:
"Everyone at Leinster Rugby has really enjoyed having Denis in blue as we know it was a big move for him when he first joined as elite player development officer in 2019.
"Since then, he has gone on to work with the Senior squad as contact skills coach and he has added hugely to the group from his many experiences in the game.
"We’re sorry to lose him but we all fully understand his decision to move back closer to family and the opportunity to progress his coaching career. We wish Denis and his family the very best for the future."
Seán O'Brien, who recently called time on his playing career, has been linked with the role as Leinster's new contact skills coach, as the Tullow native is expected to embark on a coaching career post-retirement.