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Munster appoint Howlett as skipper
ESPN Staff
August 24, 2012
Munster's Doug Howlett braces for impact, Munster v Australia, Thomond Park, Limerick, Ireland, November 16, 2010
Doug Howlett will captain Munster this term © Getty Images
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Former All Blacks winger Doug Howlett has been named Munster's captain for the forthcoming season.

Howlett replaces Paul O'Connell is skipper and becomes just their second overseas player to captain the squad. Munster face London Irish at Musgrave Park tonight and Howlett said he was honoured to captain the team.

"It truly is one of the highlights of my career," Howlett said. "I know I've got big boots to fill following Paul, Axel, Mick Galwey and Jim Williams.

"And I'm also aware of the number of leaders in this squad, people well capable of doing this job and that makes my appointment all the more worthy and humbling."

O'Connell opted to stand aside after taking on the role for the past six seasons. He claimed that he felt the timing was right with their new coaching team in place and he was quick to praise his replacement.

"I think we're unbelievably fortunate to have a player of Doug's calibre to step in," O'Connell said. "He brings a wealth of experience and an exemplary work ethic to the job that can only benefit Munster Rugby in the season ahead."

New head hencho Rob Penney said of the decision: "The process to select a new captain has been on-going for the past number of weeks and involved discussion with players and staff.

"It's never easy to replace a player of Paul O'Connell's stature but then again, as Paul said, we are indeed fortunate to be able to turn to Doug to take over the role. I don't think I need to expound on the qualities that Doug brings, you people in Munster will have seen firsthand his contribution over the past number of seasons. I'm just delighted to have him as squad captain. I know he'll do a first rate job."

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