Van Graan declined a new contract offer. Ryan Byrne/INPHO
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Munster confirm that head coach Van Graan will leave at end of season

The South African was offered a new two-year deal but will depart in June.

MUNSTER HAVE CONFIRMED that head coach Johann van Graan will leave the province at the end of the season.

The southern province had offered the South African a new two-year contract but he has decided to depart in June. The42 understands that he will join English Premiership side Bath.

It leaves Munster looking for a new head coach and a new senior coach having also seen Stephen Larkham decline a contract offer extension to confirm a move to the Brumbies at the end of this season.

Van Graan came on board in 2017 after the departure of Rassie Erasmus but has now opted against continuing with Munster.

The province confirmed that they are working with the IRFU to find replacements for both van Graan and Larkham.

“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,” said van Graan of his decision.

“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.

“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.”

Munster CEO Ian Flanagan said the province will miss van Graan.

“We will be disappointed to see Johann go at the end of the season, he will be widely missed after forming such close relationships across the organisation,” said Flanagan.

“Johann has been a valued addition to the province and integral to all the successes we have achieved over the past four years.

“His hands-on approach and tireless work ethic have ensured the structures are well in place for continued success and we know he will continue to deliver on all fronts for the remainder of the season.

“For now, we are working closely with the IRFU in looking to identify suitable replacements with the confirmed departures of both Johann and Steve (Stephen Larkham) next summer.” 

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