Gaffney had been approached by Jones earlier this month and over the weekend was contacted again and he (Gaffney) formally accepted the offer from the Australian Rugby Union.
Speaking about the impending departure, Munster Chief Executive Garrett Fitzgerald said, We had hoped that Alan would extend his contract with us for a further period. His three years here has been hugely beneficial and we do of course regret losing a coach of his ability, one who has served Munster rugby so well.
However we fully understand his decision to accept the offer from the Australian Rugby Union. It is a tremendous honour for him and we wish him the very best of luck in his new role.
I believe it reflects well on the Munster team that Alan s involvement over the past three seasons brought him the recognition that now sees him enter the international coaching arena.
Gaffney informed the Munster squad of his decision prior to the Tuesday morning training session in Cork and afterwards he admitted it had been a pretty difficult occasion for him.
Yes, it was tough. These are a great bunch of guys. I have had three marvellous years with Munster and enjoyed every minute. Munster have been good to for me and for my family.
"I have had a very good working relationship with all concerned, particularly Garrett Fitzgerald (CEO) and Jerry Holland.
I had anticipated being here a while longer, so yes it will be a wrench to leave it all behind. However, I think everyone here (Munster) understands the decision I made. I feel deeply honoured to have been asked to assume the role in question and I am looking forward to the challenge."
Gaffney continued. However, what needs to be done right now is to concentrate on the job in hand. In the very immediate future we have a Celtic League game on Saturday. We are still in contention for that title, there is the Celtic Cup and of course we are just a month - three games - away from the Heineken Cup quarter final with Biarritz.
Munster Provincial Team Management meet this week to begin the process of finding a successor to Alan Gaffney.