Springboks

Former Bok skipper Strauss praises Van Graan

2017-11-07 16:28
Adriaan Strauss (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Former Springbok captain Adriaan Strauss has heaped praise on new Munster head coach Johann van Graan.

The Bulls hooker has described Van Graan as "probably the most knowledgeable guy in rugby that I know".

Previously serving as the Springboks’ assistant coach, Van Graan will become Munster head coach on November 20, two days after South Africa face France at the Stade de France in Paris.

His first game in charge of the Irish province is a PRO14 clash against Zebre in Italy on Sunday, November 26.

Strauss, 31, worked closely with Van Graan in the Springbok and Bulls set-up.

"I have worked with Johann for a couple of years. He started off at the Bulls as a youngster when I started there. To be honest with you, I think, probably the most knowledgeable guy in rugby that I know," Strauss told the Limerick Leader.

"It would have been a massive honour for me to work with him as a head coach. I worked with him for a couple of years with the Boks when he was the forwards coach. He is a very hard worker, a people's person and I can't think of a better head coach, honestly."

Strauss' comments come after Springbok coach Allister Coetzee also said how valuable Van Graan was to their cause.

“Besides his technical and coaching ability, as a person he is a good human being. He’s been doing a fantastic job for the Springboks over the years. And surely it will be a big loss to the Springboks, but it’s a massive gain for Munster. He’s been working well within our coaching structures,” Coetzee said at a press conference in Dublin on Monday.

Strauss, who is currently playing for the Barbarians, is also looking forward to Friday's fixture between the invitation team and Tonga.

"It will by first time to play at Thomond Park on Friday. I am excited about it. I have been enjoying the past two weeks with the Barbarians, really enjoying rugby, enjoying time with the boys and enjoying the game. I am looking forward to getting back out on the pitch."

BARBARIANS SQUAD:

Forwards

Willie Britz (Sunwolves)

Sam Carter (Brumbies & Australia)

James Cronin (Munster and Ireland)

Simone Favaro (Fiamme Oro & Italy)

Jordi Murphy (Leinster)

Donncha O’Callaghan (Worcester Warriors & Ireland)

Geoff Parling (Munakata Sanix Blues & England)

Brian Scott (Munster)

Ruan Smith (Toyota Verblitz)

Adriaan Strauss (Bulls & South Africa)

Akker van der Merwe (Sharks)

Jacques van Rooyen (Lions)

Backs

Vince Aso (Hurricanes)

George Bridge (Crusaders)

Richard Buckman (Highlanders)

Robert du Preez (Stormers)

Andy Ellis (Kobelco Steelers & New Zealand)

Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs & Australia)

Julian Savea (Hurricanes & New Zealand)

David Smith (Castres)

Nic Stirzaker (Rebels)

Harold Vorster (Lions)

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