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Erasmus and Nienaber officially bid farewell to Munster

Johann van Graan will take over as head coach in the southern province next week.

Defence coach Nienaber and Erasmus guided Munster to a Champions Cup semi-final and Pro12 final in their one full season in charge.
Defence coach Nienaber and Erasmus guided Munster to a Champions Cup semi-final and Pro12 final in their one full season in charge.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Updated Nov 13th 2017, 8:33 PM

THE IRFU AND Munster today confirmed that Munster coaches Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber have completed their time with the province after just over 16 months in Ireland.

The director of rugby and defence coach have returned to their native South Africa to take up posts with the Springboks next year.

Incoming head coach Johann van Graan, who is part of under-fire ‘Boks coach Allister Coetzee’s backroom team, will take the reins in the southern province next week ahead of the Pro14 trip to take on Zebre.

Today’s statement says there has been a ‘thorough handover process’ including Van Graan’s presence in Limerick leading up the Champions Cup win over Racing 92 before he returned to work with South Africa for Saturday’s Test against Ireland and next weekend’s clash with France in Paris.

“It’s not something I want to say to sound cheesy or that I’m sucking up,” Erasmus told Donal Lenihan in an interview for Against the Head on RTE 2 this evening.

“People (in Munster) are just really good and want to help one another. Even the supporters, I’m not sure what it was like the previous year, but people don’t walk off the stands before the game is over. They sit until the end, they support you.

“Not just in rugby, one of the characteristics of Irish people is friendly: ‘can I help you?’ ‘Are you okay?’ And that’s one of the things I’m going to try to put into my life.”

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