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'It has been an extraordinary 11 years living in Ireland': Doug Howlett to leave Munster role

Doug Howlett is to leave Munster Rugby in the autumn.

The province's Head of Commercial and Marketing wishes to return to his native New Zealand.

The 40-year-old All Black has spent 11 years in Munster, having joined as a player in 2008. He helped Munster win the Heineken Cup that season, two subsequent Celtic Leagues, and become club captain in his final season, 2012-13.

Howlett said in a statement: “The privilege of playing for Munster Rugby, completing my MBA in UCC, and having the opportunity to run the province’s Commercial and Marketing programmes under the guidance of Garrett Fitzgerald, and the Commercial Board’s Niall FitzGerald and Patrick Coveney, have all been incredible experiences.

“It has been an extraordinary 11 years living in Ireland and I will always treasure my time in this special and unique club, and in Irish sport, academia and business.”

Howlett also linked up with the Cork hurling backroom team earlier this year.

Munster Rugby Acting CEO Philip Quinn said: “With Doug excelling in a senior management role we were always informed of his future plans to return to New Zealand.

“He has been a great colleague and addition to the organisation, overseeing our most successful commercial year of the past decade.

“In pursuing our strategic objectives, the building blocks are very much in place for further progression and that’s down to the work the Commercial and Marketing department have carried out on the ticketing, sponsorship, patrons and global events front.

“We retain a talented and committed Commercial and Marketing team focused on realising our clear vision and strategy built on the values of Munster Rugby.

“I would like to thank Doug, and wish him and his family, all the best as they return to New Zealand.”

Howlett scored 35 tries in 114 Munster appearances.

He also remains the all-time leading try scorer for the All Blacks, with 49 in 62 matches.

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