Paris - Munster head coach Anthony Foley died suddenly in Paris on Sunday, at the age of 42, causing the Irish province's European Champions Cup match against Racing 92 to be postponed.
"It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to our coach, former captain, colleague and friend today, rest in peace Anthony Foley," Munster Rugby tweeted.
Foley, a father of two boys, was one of Irish rugby's most prominent figures.
As a robust backrow forward, Foley led Munster to European Cup victory in 2006 and went on to win 62 caps for Ireland, captaining the national side on three occasions, his last appearance coming in 2005.
He played 86 European matches for Munster, retired in 2008 and was named head coach of the Irish province in 2014 after having also coached the Munster 'A' team, the Ireland Wolfhounds and the Irish forwards on a temporary basis in 2012.
No cause of death was given.
"The IRFU (Ireland rugby union) and Munster Rugby pass on our deepest sympathies to all of Anthony's family and friends and ask for privacy for the family at this sad time," a joint statement said.
Organisers of the European Champions Cup confirmed the postponement of Munster's opener against Racing in Paris.
"Due to the tragic passing in Paris of Munster Rugby head coach and former captain, Anthony Foley, today's European Rugby Champions Cup Round 1 match between Racing 92 and Munster Rugby has been postponed and will be rescheduled," organisers European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) said.
EPCR chairman Simon Halliday said: "On behalf of EPCR, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Anthony's family and to everyone associated with Munster and Irish rugby.
"He was a magnificent player and a superb coach and he will be sorely missed."