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Hurricanes boss Jason Holland responds to speculation over Munster job

By Alex McLeod
Photo: Grant Down / www.photosport.nz

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Hurricanes head coach Jason Holland has shunned suggestions that he will look to apply for the vacant Munster job over the coming months.

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The role of Munster head coach will soon become available after it was announced in December that incumbent boss Johann van Graan will join Premiership club Bath at the end of the current season.

No replacement has yet been confirmed by the Limerick-based club, and Holland has moved to distance himself from speculation that he will throw hit hat into the ring to become Van Graan’s successor.

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The 49-year-old made over 100 appearances for Munster as a player between 1999 and 2008, during which time he won two Champions Cups and a Celtic League, before becoming an assistant coach at the club from 2008 and 2012.

However, Holland said on Friday that he has no intention to return to Ireland in the foreseeable future after signing a two-year contract extension with the Hurricanes late last year.

“Munster’s a place I love, and I’ve got massive, fond memories about the place, but it’s not something that’s on my agenda at the moment,” he said.

“We need to win some trophies at the Canes and I love the Canes, so maybe in a few years’ time, but not at the moment.”

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Holland’s comments come days after Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson was posed the same question during an appearance on the Irish Examiner Six Nations Videocast.

Robertson, who is signed with the Crusaders until at least 2023 and is expected to succeed Ian Foster as All Blacks head coach after next year’s World Cup, said the timing isn’t right for a move to Europe.

However, the five-time Super Rugby and Super Rugby Aotearoa-winning coach didn’t rule out the possibility of coaching in the northern hemisphere later in the future.

“The timing’s not right,” Robertson said about the prospect of signing with Munster.

“I’ve got a couple more years down here in New Zealand. I’d love to but I’ve got three young boys, the youngest is 13, so we’re just trying to make sure that we give them every opportunity to grow up in New Zealand.

“And opportunity as coaches, it’s not very often you get to choose where you want to go and what you want to be or what club but fortunately I’ve coached a team that I’ve played for and am really passionate about with the Crusaders.

“I played for them for eight years and I’m six years coaching them and that’s unique. You look anywhere, hardly anyone gets to do that.

“But I’m also ambitious. I want to change how people think about coaching, how they do coach and to do that I’ll have to go to the northern hemisphere and get out of my comfort zone and understand how I can add to the current culture there.

“It would want to be after the World Cup, see what happens here with the All Blacks, you know, do I coach another club or do I coach a country?”

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