CONFIRMED: Van Graan to leave Munster
NEWS: Munster head coach Johann van Graan confirmed that he will leave the province at the end of the current season, on the completion of his current contract.
Joining the province in November 2017, the South African was offered a two-year contract extension and after much consideration, he decided not to progress with the deal and will complete his time with the province at the end of June 2022.
“While I was at advanced stages in the contract process earlier this year, I took a step back and reconsidered my options, prioritising what’s best for my family, myself, and Munster Rugby,” said Van Graan.
“My family and I settled well into life here, this is our home, and in an ideal world we would love to continue living in Limerick, but I’ve been looking at the bigger picture.
“After arriving during the 2017/18 season, I am now into my fifth season with this group and in putting Munster first I believe it’s the right decision for me to call time on my contribution and step away at the end of this season.
“While we have achieved so much together, and still have over six months of the season remaining, I wanted any uncertainty about my future addressed as early as possible.
“Working with this coaching team, staff, and players we are always striving to do our best for Munster Rugby, and nothing will change on that front.
“It has been an incredible journey and I’m hugely proud of this group for everything we have done to-date knowing there is so much more to come as we move towards the business end of the season.”
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Munster Rugby CEO Ian Flanagan added: “We will be disappointed to see Johann go at the end of the season, he will be widely missed after forming such close relationships across the organisation.
“Johann has been a valued addition to the province and integral to all the successes we have achieved over the past four years.
“His hands-on approach and tireless work ethic have ensured the structures are well in place for continued success and we know he will continue to deliver on all fronts for the remainder of the season.
“For now, we are working closely with the IRFU in looking to identify suitable replacements with the confirmed departures of both Johann and Steve [Stephen Larkham] next summer.”
During his time Van Graan has provided much-needed stability across the High Performance Centre further aligning the senior and academy structures with more visibility for the next generation of players.
Players such as Shane Daly, Gavin Coombes, Fineen Wycherley, Craig Casey, Thomas Ahern, and Ben Healy to name a few have all progressed in their careers during his tenure.
The former Springbok assistant coach was the catalyst for securing the services of the World Cup-winning duo of RG Snyman and Damian de Allende while he also oversaw the recruitment of key signings such as Joey Carbery, Alby Mathewson, Mike Haley, and Simon Zebo.
The second longest-serving Munster coach of the professional era, Johann has guided the province to consistent successful performances across Europe and the domestic league.
Since joining in 2017 Munster have reached two Champions Cup semifinals, three league semifinals, and a Pro14 final earlier this year.