Monday 16 September 2019

'He will bring in one or two fresh ideas' - Johann van Graan relishing chance to work with new Munster coaches

Wallabies legend Stephen Larkham has joined Munster
Wallabies legend Stephen Larkham has joined Munster Newsdesk Newsdesk

Munster head coach Johann van Graan has confirmed when his two new assistant coaches will arrive for the 2019/20 season.

Munster's homegrown coaching duo of Jerry Flannery and Felix Jones left at the end of the last campaign, with the southern province making two eye-catching hires with the recruitment of Australia legend Stephen Larkham as attack coach and ex-England prop Graham Rowntree as forwards coach.

Larkham previously served as head coach of the Brumbies and oversaw the Australia attack en route to an appearance in the 2015 World Cup final. He will arrive in a few weeks in Limerick to take part in pre-season training.

Rowntree was previously involved with England during Stuart Lancaster's time in charge as well as assisting Warren Gatland with the Lions as scrum coach. The 48-year-old is currently the Georgia forwards coach, and will join up with Munster after their involvement in the World Cup.

Speaking after Munster training today, van Graan discussed his excitement at the new additions.

"I’m really looking forward to Graham and Stephen coming," van Graan said.

"Stephen will be coming in for the second block. He was such a fantastic player and is a brilliant human being. I think he’ll fit really well with Munster and bring in one or two fresh ideas.

"I’ve known Graham for quite a long time. As soon as he’s finished with Georgia, he’ll join us. He’ll bring something different. He’s a fantastic guy, a typical Leicester forward who knows how to get a pack going. I’m really excited to get Graham and Stephen in."

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Munster will be looking to end a trophy drought stretching into a ninth season when they hit the field in the autumn, but face a tough task entering into their Champions Cup campaign.

Van Graan's side were handed the pool of death in last month's draw, and are set to face champions Saracens, Racing 92 and the Ospreys in the group stage.

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