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Springbok coach Van Graan given Munster reins as Erasmus departs

 

By Andrew Baldock

South African Johann van Graan has been appointed as head coach of Munster.

Munster and the Irish Rugby Football Union announced that Van Graan will move from his post as Springboks forwards coach to Thomond Park next month, having signed a contract until June 2020.

Subject to obtaining a work permit, Van Graan will initially work alongside current Munster boss Rassie Erasmus, who leaves in December to become the South African Rugby Union's new rugby director.

Van Graan (37) had previously been linked with a coaching role at Aviva Premiership club Bath, but the Munster announcement was widely expected.

Munster chief executive Garrett Fitzgerald said: "After a worldwide search, we are delighted to secure Johann van Graan as Munster head coach.

"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 back-line 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."

South African coach Van Graan, meanwhile, added: "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."

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