Cape Town - Irish club Munster are delighted to have acquired the services of Springbok assistant coach Johann van Graan.
READ: Allister Coetzee lashes out at Van Graan's Munster link
READ: Rassie Erasmus doubts Van Graan will join Munster
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It was confirmed on Wednesday that Van Graan, who had been the Springboks’ assistant coach for the past six years, had signed a contract with Munster until June 2020.
He will be Munster's head coach and will join them in November.
Munster Rugby CEO Garrett Fitzgerald said they had conducted a “worldwide search” for a new 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,” Fitzgerald said via a statement released on Munster’s official website.
“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 backline 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.”
IRFU performance director, David Nucifora, added: “Johann is an exciting addition to our coaching team and we are delighted to welcome him to Irish rugby. His track record with the Springboks and the Bulls, in Super Rugby, is impressive and we are confident he will use this experience, and more, to continue the progress in Munster Rugby.”
Speaking about his new role Van Graan said: “I am immensely excited and honoured to join Munster and to be part of a club with a unique ethos and history dating back 138 years to 1879. 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.”
This appointment has resulted in the restructuring of the coaching set-up at Munster, with Van Graan taking on the same responsibilities as Rassie Erasmus.
He will work alongside Erasmus subject to obtaining a work permit, which the province hopes will be attained by mid-November, to ensure a seamless transition.
Erasmus will head back to South African at the end of the year to become SA Rugby’s director of rugby.