Erasmus would be 'surprised' if South Africa release van Graan to join Munster

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Erasmus would be 'surprised' if South Africa release van Graan to join Munster

JJ Hanarahan who scored two tries for Munster against Cardiff Blues on Saturday last

MUNSTER Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus admitted he would be surprised if the South African Rugby Union released Springbok assistant coach Johann van Graan from his contract in order to allow him join Munster.

Springboks’ forwards coach van Grann has been tipped to replace Erasmus as Munster’s Director of Rugby after another leading fancy David Wessels opted to become head coach at the Melbourne Rebels.

Erasmus was fulsome in his praise of van Graan and his rugby intellect.

Erasmus said: “Yes, I would be surprised (if the South African Rugby Union let him go) just because he is quality and he knows the system and everyone and the players really well.

“Coaching against him when he was at the Bulls was really tough.

“We struggled to win games because he has got such knowledge across all the different disciplines from line-outs to attack to defence.

“He's a really sharp guy who eats, sleep and drinks rugby so I'm not sure if South Africa will release him.

“Whenever they have asked me about a candidate (for Munster), my only involvement is, they ask me do I know the guy and what I think of him? I'm not in the mix at all, that's why I don't know who the next guy is.

“But I can tell you, just like I vouched for Dave Wessels last time, his work ethic, knowledge, character, he's a guy that's been involved with teams and won two or three Super Rugby titles, he has been with the Springboks for six or seven years.

“That's why I am saying it will be interesting (to see) if the Springboks let him go. If it's him, I can't talk enough about this guy's work ethic and knowledge of the game.

“He is someone that I would like to work with, with the Springboks.

”I'm not working there yet and to be honest with you, I don't even have contact with the guys who are currently there because they are in the middle of the Rugby Championship and then they are going on their European tour. I'm not involved at all at this stage.”

Erasmus said it was crucial that Munster bounced back to form against Cardiff following their heavy defeat to Glasgow.

“It was helluva important. People lie when they say a loss doesn't dent your confidence. It does dent your confidence, without a doubt.

“It was at least an away loss and I always thought we were up against it. We went with an experimental team but I never thought we would get a 27-point hammering.”