Sunday 22 July 2018

Van Graan lines up Lions' Ferreira to fill defence role

Johann van Graan is on the lookout for a replacement for Jacques Nienaber and it is understood he is keen for compatriot Ferreira to join. Photo by Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Johann van Graan is on the lookout for a replacement for Jacques Nienaber and it is understood he is keen for compatriot Ferreira to join. Photo by Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Super Rugby outfit the Lions have confirmed that their defence coach JP Ferreira is currently in talks with Munster about the vacant position at the province.

Johann van Graan is on the lookout for a replacement for Jacques Nienaber and it is understood he is keen for compatriot Ferreira (above) to join. There was some suggestion that van Graan may fill the role himself until the end of the season, but it now appears that he is eager to bring in a specialist defence coach as soon as possible.

Ferreira's situation is complicated by the fact that he remains under contract with the Lions until October 2018.

The Lions CEO Rudolf Straeuli confirmed the club's coaching structure for the new season and in doing so revealed that Ferreira is in negotiations with Munster.

Ferreira has been working with the Lions since 2007, under several head coaches such as Jake White and John Mitchell.

He was drafted into the Springboks set-up last year when Nienaber left for Munster, while last season his influence was instrumental in the Lions making it to the Super Rugby final.

Ireland's defence coach Andy Farrell was in Limerick last week assisting Van Graan and he now looks likely to make a permanent appointment.

"There's one or two names as possibilities, but I want to make sure that I get the right person here that will fit in with the way Munster do things," the new head coach said last week.

"We're thankful for Joe (Schmidt), we've been in contact all along. Andy is here for today and tomorrow. The good thing is there was 14 players in the Irish squad. He and Jacques also worked together pretty closely."

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