The amount that this guy improves every time he steps on a pitch is phenomenal. He's learning every game and doesn't make the same mistake twice. A small guy but a remarkable athelete who's already a game-changer and just going to get better.
He has moved his family to Cork, bought a house, his kids are in school here, he has stakes in several local businesses and he's stated that he wants to retire once he stops playing for Munster. Obviously it's not quite a contract, but it's pretty close and I don't see the management getting rid of him any time soon.
Dougie was made captain because the management wanted somebody who (a) wouldn't be called up for international duty and (b) wouldn't transfer to another club next season or so. Howlett has obviously retired from the All Blacks and more importantly has committed to Munster for the rest of his playing career. This means that unlike is previous years, Munster now has a year-round captain. There is also possibly the consideration that the coach is a kiwi. »