Monday 10 December 2018

'I didn't need to convince Joey Carbery to join Munster, it was his call' - Johann van Graan

Joey Carbery
Joey Carbery
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Johann van Grann insists that he did not have to convince Joey Carbery to join Munster.

The former Leinster out-half has been settling into his new surrounds in Limerick over the past few weeks and his new head coach has been impressed by the early signs.

In what was a tough decision for Carbery, the 22-year old left Leinster in a bid to secure more game time in his preferred out-half position ahead of the World Cup.

Van Graan admitted that he primarily sees Carbery as a 10, but insisted that he would have to fight for his starting place, just like his other out-halves.

"No, to me, it’s not really to convince guys," van Graan said in Limerick this afternoon.

"I think whenever people want to move to different spots in the world and possibly in Ireland, they want to buy into a vision and into something bigger than yourself.

"It’s something that he thought he could be part of and hopefully, he plays a big role in that. I left it to the individual.

"Leinster is a quality, quality team. They won both competitions last year and he made the decision to come to Munster, I’m very glad about the decision but it was totally his decision.”

Carbery isn't expect to feature for Munster for another few weeks, but van Graan is already excited by what he has seen from him.

“I’ve really enjoyed him, he’s a down-to-earth type of guy, quality individual," the South African continued.

"I value the person first before the player. He slotted in pretty quickly, he’s one of five fly-halves that we’ve got and you know he has to perform on-field to earn his spot.

"He seems to have a very good head on him, he can kick with both feet, I was really impressed by that and just his general understanding of the game.

"He’s got the attributes that you want in a fly-half; calm, composed, a very good understanding of the game."

On the injury front, Tommy O'Donnell (shoulder) is fit enough to join the Ireland squad in Carton House for a mini camp.

In less positive news however, Jack O'Donoghue (knee) isn't expected to feature until the new year, while Chris Farrell (knee), Chris Cloete (groin) and Tyler Bleyendaal (neck) face a further period on the sidelines.

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