Stringer on Van Graan: 'He doesn’t really want to be here'
REACTION: Former Ireland and Munster scrumhalf Peter Stringer believes Johann van Graan is not really committed to Munster’s cause for the rest of season.
The South African will be leaving the Irish Province for English club Bath at the end of the season and Stringer was not impressed by Van Graan’s interview with RTE before his team’s clash with Ulster on Saturday.
When Van Graan was asked by reporter Murray Murray Kinsella about his decision to leave Munster, Van Graan responded: “I’ve spoken to that before, I’m not going to answer that tonight. It’s all about Ulster.”
Van Graan was also asked about his team’s recent performances, which included a defeat to Connacht and a less-than-impressive win over Castres.
“Well, we just lost last week and the previous week we won before that, Murray, if you care to remember that,” was Van Graan’s response.
Speaking on RTÉ’s URC Live following that interview, Stringer said he is just not getting “any emotion” from Van Graan.
“We very seldom have got that kind of emotional response from Johann, when Munster play well or Munster play poorly,” said Stringer.
“Be honest, show your colours and put it out there, give us something to show that you feel you are part of this place and what the supporters are craving.
“You talk about the 80 percent [wins last season] stat, he’s thrown it around a lot.
“For me, rugby is more than just a stat, it plays on supporters’ emotions, players’ emotions and as a fan, for me, over the years.
“That stat stands for many other clubs around the world but for here, [there are] two reasons why it doesn’t: because of the history that has gone on here, previous successes.
“And also because of Leinster’ success up the road, because of your fiercest rivals winning silverware, Munster winning three of the last 16 games against Leinster.
“All of those emotional things, on and off the field.
“You need to be bitter about it. I’m just not getting any emotion from Johann, feeling that he wants to be here and I think he doesn’t really want to be here, he changed his mind about his contract.
“For me, it’s about letting someone put up their hand and say, ‘I want to take control of this place, I want to show my emotion and what it means to me as a person to run this organisation’ and I’m just not getting that from him.”