The 41 year old South African coach Johann van Graan announced this week that he would not be taking up the two year offer that Munster Rugby offered the former Blue Bulls coach. Instead the South African will be taking up the head coaching role at Bath rugby in England. We look back on Johann van Graan’s time with Munster Rugby, and ask what legacy does he leave behind with the southern province?
In the five years that van Graan has been coaching Munster Rugby, Munster have failed to win any silverware and the most disappointing aspect of that was each time Munster got to the latter stages of the competitions they looked a long way off the likes of Leinster, Saracens, Racing 92 etc… You can get some great odds with 888 Sport to see if Munster can finally lift the European Cup, for the first time since 2008, presented by www.bestbettingsites.com/ireland/888sport/. Best Betting Sites has ranked the top 5 betting sites for rugby and it has found that 888Sport is the top live rugby betting site and also offers the best bonuses for rugby. Additionally, it offers the best odds 91.28% of the time.
The question has to be asked of van Graan though, would Munster have been better served with a different coach? Would Munster have got closer to the big teams in Europe if someone like Joe Schmidt was in charge?
How many young players did van Graan bring through in his time with Munster? What was very disappointing was the continuous signing of foreign imports, particularly Springboks. While it’s great to have a certain amount and there has have been great players from outside the province that have added great value to Munster Rugby. But you really have to question why there is three South African second rows in Munster when we have the likes of Tomas Ahern who has barely got a senior cap with the first team.
We all know a winning team sells tickets and keeps things going, but what about the bigger picture? There are some good young players coming through Munster at the moment and not only should van Graan take the blame, but Munster as a whole should for not pushing these players through.
Who should take up the Munster Rugby head job next? A lot of people obviously will point to Ronan O’Gara, but will the Cork man take the job and is it too early for the former Out-half? One thing is for sure I think it’s time to give the job to one of our or even someone from Ireland.
Look at Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster and the job they are doing up in Leinster, sure Leinster have a massive pool of talented players but Cullen’s best interests are in Leinster and Irish rugby. Time for Munster Rugby to seek out a similar partnership with youth and experience in an Irish coach and an experienced one behind him…