'Rugby intellectual' Van Graan to take over at Munster next month
Munster will begin the transition between Rassie Erasmus and Johann van Graan midway through next month after the Springbok forwards coach was confirmed as the province's head coach yesterday.
Although he is a direct replacement for his fellow South African who is set to return home to take up his new role in December, Van Graan has not inherited Erasmus's title as part of a restructuring of the province's set-up that sees Jerry Flannery take over the role of forwards coach and Felix Jones handed the title of backs and attack coach.
Van Graan has signed a contract until 2020 and will work alongside Erasmus for the first few weeks of his tenure before taking over on a full-time basis.
This is his first head coaching job, having previously served as assistant coach of the Springboks.
Munster chief executive Garrett Fitzgerald hailed the new man as a "rugby intellectual".
"After a worldwide search we are delighted to secure Johann van Graan as Munster Head Coach," he said. "Rugby was the focal point of this process and in Johann we are getting a recognised rugby intellectual with a proven track record and extensive experience with a national side.
"An analyst of the game, his technical ability and interpersonal skills have made him an integral member of the South African rugby landscape for over a decade, and it is now time for an ambitious Johann to make an impact in a new rugby environment.
"We know Johann, with forwards coach Jerry Flannery and backline and attack coach, Felix Jones, will continue to establish the structures and processes required to bring this Munster team forward."
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