Wednesday 21 March 2018

Ferreira settling in to a new way of life

Johann van Graan Photo: Sportsfile
Johann van Graan Photo: Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

New Munster defence coach JP Ferreira admits he was blown away by the big European clash with Castres in Thomond Park.

Ferreira moved to Munster at the start of the year as a replacement for Jacques Nienaber, who left the province at the same time as Rassie Erasmus to take up a role in South African rugby.

And in his first look at his new team and new home ground, the Thomond Park roar made a real impact on Ferreira.

"I think it's an awesome stadium. The people and fans are awesome. In South Africa we do have big stadiums but the magnitude of this stadium and the amount of people that were there, it felt like 60,000 people. So it was an amazing experience first up," said Ferreira.

Similar to new Munster coach Johann van Graan, Ferreira started his coaching career as an analyst and after working together for the international team, Van Graan called on his former colleague to slot in to Munster. Injury caused Ferreira to call a halt to his playing days during his time at the Lions, but a switch to an analyst role in the club paved the way for a successful coaching career to date.

And while Munster's new defence coach and head coach have worked together at the Springboks, amazingly Ferreira had already shared a dressing-room with Van Graan in their younger days.

"We both started as analysts way back. He was with the Blue Bulls and I was with the Lions so we had to touch base now and then so we got to know each other. Myself and him coached at the Springboks together at the end of last year.

"What I did not know is that we actually played together as well. I found that out a week before I came over, a guy sent me a picture of a programme from a local club game.

"In South Africa where we were actually on the same team (at University of Pretoria). I didn't even know that, it's crazy."

Irish Independent

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