Declan Kidney has admitted he is "relishing the task" of coaching Celtic League title contenders Newport Gwent Dragons.
Ireland's assistant coach will officially take over at Rodney Parade this summer when his existing Irish Rugby Union contract expires.
Kidney, who masterminded Munster's European Cup final appearances in 2000 and 2002, replaces new Wales supremo Mike Ruddock after beating off rival candidates from the northern and southern hemispheres.
And the Dragons, who could be crowned Celtic League champions if they win their remaining games against Borders and Leinster, have also appointed former Welsh international centre Andy Marinos as chief executive.
Dragons skipper Marinos will retire from playing at the end of this season to head off-field matters.
Kidney, meanwhile, will make his Ireland swansong during next month's tour of South Africa, and then officially start work as Dragons' coach on August 1.
"I am very excited to be here, and I am relishing the task before me," said Kidney, who has been a firm favourite to land the Dragons job for several weeks.
"Rugby in Gwent has very strong traditions, there is a great structure at the club and the players possess the ability to achieve great things.
"It is up to me to bring that out of them, and I will be working hard to do so. I have been very impressed with what I've seen, and there is a great base here to work from."
Kidney, who will commute from his home in Ireland, becomes the first non-Welsh coach of a regional professional team in the Principality, but Dragons benefactor Tony Brown said: "I had no qualms about going outside Wales for a coach.
"Declan has a huge pedigree and hopefully we've got a man to move things forward here.
"There has been a lot of speculation over recent weeks as to who the new coach and chief executive might be, and I believe we have the right people in the right positions to take this team forward.
"Mike Ruddock has done a tremendous job through difficult circumstances, and we wish him the best of luck in his new role."
England flanker James Haskell insists he will be pushing as hard as possible to be back from a toe injury in time to make his case for a spot in Eddie Jones' side looking to defend their RBS 6 Nations title next year.