Bok coach's worst fears confirmed

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 13:58

IT'S OFFICIAL: What Springbok coach Allister Coetzee cast aside as 'rumours' and 'hearsay' less than two weeks ago, has become a reality.

After the Springboks' 27-all draw with the Wallabies, Coetzee angrily denied any links between Springboks forwards coach  Johann van Graan and Irish Pro14 side Munster.

The mentor even went on to label it as 'hearsay'.

Nonetheless just a few days after the Springboks' narrow 24-25 defeat to the All Blacks, SA Rugby has confirmed that Van Graan has been released from his contract and will indeed join Irish province Munster as their new head coach.

Van Graan spent the last six seasons as Springbok forwards coach.

He was first appointed in the role before the start of the 2012 Test season by former Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, with whom Van Graan has enjoyed a close working relationship at provincial and national level.

The 37-year-old Van Graan also worked with Meyer at the Blue Bulls, where he was part of the team that won the Super Rugby title on three occasions.

SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux thanked Van Graan for his services to the Springboks.

"Johann has proven himself as an outstanding coach and he has a very bright future ahead of him," said Roux.

"The Munster appointment is an excellent opportunity for him to test and prove himself as a head coach in a very competitive European club rugby environment.

"I have no doubt that Johann will be successful in his new role and the next chapter of his coaching career. From SA Rugby’s side, we would like to wish him and his young family all of the best,"

The Springbok coach, Coetzee, praised Van Graan for his contribution to the Springboks.

"I’ve had the pleasure of working very closely with Johann for the past two seasons, he is a very good man and I know first-hand why he is so highly rated," he said.

"He is highly competent, extremely hard working and his attention to detail is one of his great strengths. He has a great passion for coaching and I have no doubt that he has all the makings of a very good head coach. I want to wish him well in his new role," said Coetzee.

Van Graan is excited about the new challenge and he thanked SA Rugby and the Springboks for allowing him to join the Irish side.

"I was fortunate enough to be part of the Springboks for the past six years and 69 Tests so far, which was an incredible journey up to now," explained Van Graan.

According to Van Graan, he is indebted to several people at SA Rugby: "A special word of thanks to Allister Coetzee, Heyneke Meyer, Ian Schwartz (Springbok team manager), Jurie Roux and Mark Alexander (SA Rugby President) for their belief in me and their fantastic support.”

Van Graan described his involvement with the Springboks so far as the highlight of his coaching career. "To the members of the Springbok management, words can’t describe my gratitude towards all of you, especially my fellow coaches, who are all fantastic people.

"The Springboks are a big part of my life and I was blessed to coach some of the best players in the world. The training and matches were important, but even more so, the times we spent together, and the friendships I have made is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.

"I will always look back with gratitude, but now I am looking forward with real excitement towards the next chapter of my life. To all the players: ‘Memories are all we have!’"

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Mon, 19 February 2018
NMMU-Madibaz v Wits 14h45 Port Elizabeth
Maties v CUT-Ixias 16h30 Cape Town
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 16h30 Cape Town
NWU-Pukke v UJ 17h00 Potchefstroom
Fri, 23 February 2018
Highlanders v Blues 06h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Reds 08h45 Melbourne
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 19h00 Irish Independent Park
Dragons v Edinburgh 19h30 Rodney Parade
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Leinster v Kings 19h35 RDS
France v Italy 20h00 Paris
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Bath v Sale Sharks 12h30 Recreation Ground
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Sun, 25 February 2018
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
PRO14
MORE LOGS
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 15 13 0 2 65
Munster 15 9 0 6 49
Cheetahs 15 8 0 7 41
Cardiff Blues 15 7 0 8 33
Connacht 15 5 0 10 28
Ospreys 15 5 0 10 26
Zebre 15 4 0 11 21
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 15 12 0 3 57
Scarlets 15 11 0 4 54
Edinburgh 15 10 0 5 46
Ulster 15 9 1 5 46
Treviso 15 8 0 7 38
Dragons 15 2 2 11 17
Kings 15 0 0 15 4