Sunday 13 October 2019

Former Springbok prop gives Munster fans added hope of landing Johann van Graan

Johann Van Graan Photo: Getty Images
Johann Van Graan Photo: Getty Images
Brendan Fanning

Brendan Fanning

Munster fans got some good news ahead of Saturday’s clash with Leinster in the form of local knowledge on prospective coach Johann van Graan.

Last weekend Springbok coach Allister Coetzee, speaking after his side’s Rugby Championship tie with Australia, reacted angrily to questions about Van Graan going to Munster.

"Have you seen his contract?” he snapped, at the post match press conference. “Has he signed anything? How can it be official? Has SA Rugby said something? There is nothing official."

However former Ulster prop Robbi Kempson, capped 37 times for the Springboks, reckons Coetzee is simply caught in a bind. Moreover he is dubious about Erasmus’s claim, made earlier this week, that it would be a surprise if SA rugby would release such an important member of their coaching team from his contract.

“Rassie (Erasmus) also said he wasn’t coming back home, if you remember,” Kempson says. “But everyone forgets that! Obviously the smoke and fire syndrome is right there but I don’t think Allister would like to answer those sort of questions when he’s in the middle of a competition.”

“I know Van Graan has looked at other options overseas already, before this year and during this year, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Rassie did manage to get him on board this season at Munster. It wouldn’t surprise me at all.”

South Africa wrap up their Rugby Championship schedule on Saturday, against New Zealand in Cape Town. Coetzee claims the 57 points hammering his side suffered in the away leg is no longer an issue.

“The 57 is out of the system already. We’ve shown it by playing against a fantastic Wallabies side and being unlucky to not to win.”

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Van Graan is expected to tie up his affairs after that game and his move to Munster will be sooner rather than later. Despite the comments of Erasmus regarding Van Graan getting out of his contract in South Africa it’s understood neither Munster nor the IRFU will have to write a cheque to ease that passage.   

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