Springbok forwards coach Johann van Graan will join Irish province Munster as their new head coach.
SA Rugby confirmed on Wednesday that the 37-year-old had been released from his contract. Van Graan will replace Rassie Erasmus, who has been appointed as SA Rugby’s director of rugby.
Van Graan spent the last six seasons as Bok forwards coach. He was first appointed in the role before the start of the 2012 Test season by former coach Heyneke Meyer. He also worked with Meyer at the Bulls, where he was part of the team that won the Super Rugby title on three occasions.
‘I was 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,’ said Van Graan in a statement.
‘The 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.
‘I will 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!”‘
Bok coach Allister Coetzee praised Van Graan for his contribution to the team.
‘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.
‘He is 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.’
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images