Peter O'Mahony has been appointed as the new captain of Munster, taking over from Doug Howlett.
Kiwi Howlett retired in June and flanker O'Mahony, 23, will take the armband this season.
O'Mahony has previously captained Munster in the 2011/12 season in the absence of Paul O'Connell and also skippered Ireland on their summer tour of North America.
He told the Munster website: "It is the biggest honour of my career so far and it is very special to me. When I was asked by (coach) Rob Penney initially I was just shocked and my first instinct was to jump at it, but I had time to go away and think about it and I wanted to talk to people to get their thoughts.
"Fellas like Paulie (O'Connell) are very important guys in this squad and hopefully he and the other guys will be behind me for the year and I'm really looking forward to it.
"I'm not going to try and fill Paulie's boots, Axel's boots or Dougie's, I'm going to try and be my own captain, look after the lads and figure out the way I'm going to do things.
"Captaining Ireland and your country is huge, and obviously that experience will stand to me but I'm just delighted with this opportunity now."
Penney said: "Peter is a naturally gifted leader and is still very young but has a lot of the attributes that are special and intrinsic to Munster.
"He will grow in to being a special leader of this group of men. I have spoken to players including Paul O'Connell who was extremely supportive of Pete's appointment.
"We went through a process last year to appoint Dougie via the players and this year Peter's name was to the forefront of that list so taking all that information on board it was a no brainer that Pete would be appointed."