Only 24 hours after announcing he would be leaving Munster at the end of the season, Head Coach Johann Van Graan has been unveiled in the same position at Bath.

“I am hugely excited for the opportunity to join Bath for the 2022/23 season,” he said in a statement issued by his new club this morning.

“I see huge potential in this club, the players, coaches and staff. I am coming to Bath to work with everyone, and to achieve great success with everyone at the club.”

“This is an exciting next step for me as a coach, and for my family in moving to a proud club and a true rugby city.”

Was it really necessary to refer to Bath as a ‘true’ rugby city, when he still has five or six months to go in Limerick?

To proud fans of Munster, how will that go down?

The announcement seems to have been made with unseemly haste and with no obvious need to do so.

No one would question the right of an individual to make their own career choices and there is no doubt he has served Munster well but should he really now be allowed to stay on as a lame-duck coach with a team that has ambitions that will be far greater this season at least than those of the club he is swapping for?

It wouldn’t happen in business, it wouldn’t happen in any other sport at the highest level.

Is there not more to be gained from allowing the current coaching staff beneath him to gain valuable experience at the sharp end of the sport and build yet further the idea that Munster can overcome the greatest of adversity.

It is hard to see Van Graan maintaining the faith of the fans, or the players, even in a sport where polite good manners prevent event the verbal jostling of an opposition kicker.

The IRFU’s David Nucifora has a lot on his plate at the moment and surely he can only be less than best pleased at the actions of a coach he thought was going to be there through to the next World Cup.
 

 

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