After a long-drawn-out period of speculation, Munster have confirmed John 'Rassie' Erasmus as the province's new Director of Rugby.
Erasmus has coaching experience in South Africa, and was a candidate for the Springbok coaching job before leaving the SARU, apparently over internal politics. He has previously served as South Africa's high-performance manager, the role occupied by David Nucifora in Ireland.
Munster CEO Garrett Fitzgerald confirmed the news at a press conference this afternoon, saying that he is "delighted to announce Rassie Erasmus as Munster's new Director of Rugby", believing that Munster had secured the services of a "world class individual".
Erasmus himself said that "It is a huge honour to have been appointed by Munster Rugby in the newly created role of Director of Rugby",citing the opportunity to make Munster one of the top rugby clubs in Europe".
Erasmus is a major coup for Munster. In 2005, as coach, he guided the Cheetahs to a first Currie Cup in 29 years, before going on to serve as Springboks' technical director at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups, either side of a stint as head coach of the Stormers.
He is a major coup for Munster, but his appointment is the final admission of the failure of the all-Irish coaching ticket headed by Anthony Foley. Munster have endured a miserable season, eliminated from the Champions Cup pool stages and facing a battle to qualify for next year's competition, with victory over Edinburgh on Friday necessary to keep qualification hopes alive.
How Foley will survive in the new regime will now come under focus, with the Irish Independent citing reports in South Africa claiming that Erasmus will ultimately seek to replace the head coach. The paper also report that much of the backroom staff will depart, including Mick O'Driscoll, Brian Walsh and Ian Costello.
Foley has extended his contract until 2017, and is expected to honour it, but with Erasmus reportedly bringing in former South African defence coach Jacques Nienaber to work with him at Munster, his position looks under increased threat.
Erasmus has signed a three-year deal, and will take up his role on July 1st.