Rowntree will take time over Munster captaincy decision

Rowntree will take time over Munster captaincy decision

Munster's head coach, Graham Rowntree, has asserted that he will not be rushed into deciding over who will be Munster's next captain. 

Last week, it was announced that squad captain Peter O'Mahony would step back from a role he has held for over 10 years and supply guidance to the next armband holder. 

“From that day to this, it’s been an utter privilege and has never been something I’ve taken for granted," said O'Mahony on Munster's website last week. 

“However, having given a huge amount of thought to it, I think it is the right time to step back from the role to share my experiences and give the same guidance that I received when I took on the role. 

“What an unbelievable honour it has been…and will always continue to be.” 

Fellow Munster players like Diarmuid Barron, Jack O’Donoghue, Craig Casey, Tadhg Beirne, and Jean Kleyn are all names in contention to replace O'Mahony as Munster's skipper full-time. 

Rowntree paid respects to O'Mahony for his time in the role and will make the choice soon, but also admitted that he will take his time in deciding who that is

Limerick , Ireland - 18 November 2023; Munster head coach Graham Rowntree before the United Rugby Championship match between Munster and DHL Stormers at Thomond Park in Limerick. (Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

“Big boots to fill,” Rowntree said. “Respect his decision. You know, he’s been great for this club, an icon of this club. 

“I respect the fact you want to step down as captain, hand the baton on to someone else and help that person. 

“Who that captain will be, we will name in due course. I’m not being rushed into that. We’ve got a strong leadership group at the club which he will still be part of and will drive on. 

“I’m sure he’ll be brilliant for the next man, won’t he? Just his presence. His presence is just incredible, and whoever that next man is, there are various options there. Pete will look after him, I know he will. He’s (made) a nice seamless transition. I respect his decision.” 

When pushed further on who that will be, the Munster coach doubled down on his stance that he will pick his next captain carefully. 

“We will announce a captain week by week who I think is the best person for that job. 

“I won’t rush into a decision. Such big boots to fill. I’ll be the first head coach in 10 years at the club who has had to name a captain, so I’m not rushing that.” 

Munster plays Glasgow Warriors on Friday. The game kicks off at 19:35pm