Why Munster opted for Van Graan

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 07:02

REACTION: Munster believes Johann van Graan a is a "recognised rugby intellectual" and that is why he is the perfect replacement for Johan Erasmus.

Van Graan will join the Irish province in November, having signed a contract as head coach until June 2020.

Van Graan joins the province from his role as Springboks forward coach, where he played a key role in developing the forwards and attack for the 2015 World Cup, when South Africa collected the bronze medal.

In 2009 and 2010 he secured Super Rugby honours with the Bulls, as forwards and attack coach.

"After a worldwide search we are delighted to secure Johann van Graan as Munster head coach," said Munster Rugby Chief Executive Officer Garrett Fitzgerald.

"Rugby was the focal point of this process and in Johann we are getting a recognised rugby intellectual with a proven track record and extensive experience working with a national side.

"An analyst of the game, his technical ability and interpersonal skills have made him an integral member of the South African rugby landscape for over a decade, and it is now time for an ambitious Johann to make an impact in a new rugby environment.

"We know Johann, with forwards coach Jerry Flannery and backline and attack coach, Felix Jones, will continue to establish the structures and processes required to bring this Munster team forward in terms of growth and success."

IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora added: "Johann is an exciting addition to our coaching team and we are delighted to welcome him to Irish rugby. His track record with the Springboks and the Bulls, in Super Rugby, is impressive and we are confident he will use this experience, and more, to continue the progress in Munster Rugby.”"

Van Graan expressed his excitement at this new opportunity.

"I am immensely excited and honoured to join Munster and to be part of a club with a unique ethos and history dating back 138 years to 1879," said Van Graan. 

"Some of the words I associate with Munster Rugby are passion, excellence, ambition and integrity, and I feel very fortunate to be handed this opportunity. 

"I am looking forward to working with the Munster players, support staff and supporters on this new journey, and to become part of their community."

This appointment has resulted in the restructuring of the coaching ticket, with Van Graan taking on the same responsibilities as Erasmus.  

Johann will work alongside Erasmus subject to obtaining a work permit, which the province hopes will be attained by mid-November, to ensure a seamless transition.


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