Re-action to the re-appointment of Kidney came from Munster Chief Executive Garrett Fitzgerald and Anthony Foley.
"Firstly I would like to thank all those who expressed an interest in the position." Fitzgerald said. "It is obviously a very important role and I am delighted that Declan has opted to accept it. In my opinion, he is an outstanding coach, whose record at the highest European level speaks for itself.
"Despite the fact that his family are based in Cork and that he has been away from them for long periods over the past three years, I know it can't have been an easy decision for him to decide to change roles within the IRFU.
"However, we found ourselves in a similar position to Leinster three years ago when we lost him to the national squad so his return is a welcome development."
Squad captain Foley said, "I am looking forward to Declan's return, looking forward to working with him again. He is a top flight coach who I have the height of respect for. All the valuable experience he has gained over the past three years should benefit us.