Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee says the loss of forwards coach Johann van Graan will be a “big loss” to the national team.
Van Graan recently signed a deal as head coach of Irish club Munster, where he will replace Rassie Erasmus, who is heading back to South Africa to work as SA Rugby’s director of rugby.
SA Rugby on Monday confirmed that Van Graan will stay on for the first two Tests of the Springboks’ end-of-year tour - against Ireland and France - before joining Munster on November 19.
“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.
Van Graan, 37, has been involved with the national side since 2012 and the beginning of the Heyneke Meyer era.
Meanwhile, Erasmus has finished his tenure at Munster and is on his way home.
Coetzee however said that he would likely only meet with Erasmus in 2018.
“At this point in time our management team and coaching staff are focused on the Tests. The other stuff would be looked at next year.”
In his new job, Erasmus will oversee South African rugby’s eight national teams and the participation and management of 20 competitions, as well as the development of players, coaches and referees.