Cape Town - SA Rugby on Wednesday
confirmed that Springbok forwards coach Johann van Graan has been released from
his contract and that he will join Irish province Munster as their new head
READ: Allister Coetzee lashes out at Van Graan's Munster link
READ: Rassie Erasmus doubts Van Graan will join Munster
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Graan spent the last six seasons as Springbok forwards coach. He was first
appointed in the role before the start of the 2012 Test season by former
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, with whom Van Graan has enjoyed a close working
relationship at provincial and national level.
37-year-old Van Graan also worked with Meyer at the Bulls, where he was
part of the team that won the Super Rugby title on three occasions.
Rugby CEO Jurie Roux thanked Van Graan for his services to the Springboks.
has proven himself as an outstanding coach and he has a very bright future
ahead of him,” said Roux.
Munster appointment is an excellent opportunity for him to test and prove
himself as a head coach in a very competitive European club rugby environment.
no doubt that Johann will be successful in his new role and the next chapter of
his coaching career. From SA Rugby’s side, we would like to wish him and his
young family all of the best.”
coach, Allister Coetzee, praised Van Graan for his contribution to the
Springboks: “I’ve had the pleasure of working
very closely with Johann for the past two seasons, he is a very good man and I
know first-hand why he is so highly rated.
highly competent, extremely hard working and his attention to detail is one of
his great strengths. He has a great passion for coaching and I have no doubt
that he has all the makings of a very good head coach. I want to wish him well
in his new role,” said Coetzee.
Graan is excited about the new challenge and he thanked SA Rugby and the
Springboks for allowing him to join the Irish side.
fortunate enough to be part of the Springboks for the past six years and 69
Tests so far, which was an incredible journey up to now,” explained Van Graan.
to Van Graan, he is indebted to several people at SA Rugby: “A special word of
thanks to Allister Coetzee, Heyneke Meyer, Ian
Schwartz (Springbok team manager), Jurie Roux and Mark Alexander (SA Rugby
President) for their belief in me and their fantastic support.”
Graan described his involvement with the Springboks so far as the highlight of
his coaching career. “To the members of the Springbok management, words can’t
describe my gratitude towards all of you, especially my fellow coaches, who are
all fantastic people.
Springboks are a big part of my life and I was blessed to coach some of the
best players in the world. The training and matches were important, but even
more so, the times we spent together, and the friendships I have made is
something I will cherish for the rest of my life.
always look back with gratitude, but now I am looking forward with real
excitement towards the next chapter of my life. To all the players: ‘Memories
are all we have!’”