Head Coach Johann van Graan to leave Munster at end of season

Johann van Graan joined Munster in 2017
Johann van Graan joined Munster in 2017
©Steve Haag

Munster Rugby have confirmed that head coach Johann van Graan will be leaving the club at the end of the ongoing 2021/22 season.

The 41-year-old joined Munster in 2017 replacing Rassie Erasmus and has gone on to become the second longest serving coach for the club after Tony McGahan.

According to reports, van Graan turned down a two-year contract extension with the club and follows attack coach Stephen Larkham, who will also be leaving the Thomond Park based outfit at the end of the ongoing campaign.

“While I was at advanced stages in the contract process earlier this year, I took a step back and reconsidered my options, prioritising what’s best for my family, myself, and Munster Rugby," he told in a statement released by the club.

“My family and I settled well into life here, this is our home, and in an ideal world we would love to continue living in Limerick, but I’ve been looking at the bigger picture.

“After arriving during the 2017/18 season, I am now into my fifth season with this group and in putting Munster first I believe it’s the right decision for me to call time on my contribution and step away at the end of this season".

Under van Graan, Munster went on to reach two Champions Cup semi-finals, three league semi-finals, and this year’s Pro14 final. Even in the ongoing United Rugby Championship competition, Munster have four wins from five matches and defeated a depleted Wasps side 35-14 in the Heineken Champions Cup opener last weekend.

“While we have achieved so much together, and still have over six months of the season remaining, I wanted any uncertainty about my future addressed as early as possible.

“Working with this coaching team, staff, and players we are always striving to do our best for Munster Rugby, and nothing will change on that front.

“It has been an incredible journey and I’m hugely proud of this group for everything we have done to-date knowing there is so much more to come as we move towards the business end of the season.”