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Johann van Grann eyes Nienaber replacement

By RugbyPass
van Graan

Munster head coach Johann van Grann is understood to be in talks with Lions defence coach JP Ferreira to join the team in Limerick.

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As van Graan settles in as Rassie Erasmus’ successor, it was initially believed that he would handle the defence duties himself until the end of the season, but he has since stated he is keen to fill the gap left by Jacques Nienaber as soon as possible.
“There’s one or two names as possibilities but I want to make sure that I get the right person here that will fit in with the way Munster do things,” he said last week.

“We’re thankful for Joe (Schmidt) – we’ve been in contact all along, Andy (Farrell) is here for today and tomorrow. The good thing is there was 14 players in the Irish squad. He and Jacques (Nienaber) also worked together pretty closely.”

Ferreira has been at the Lions in Johannesburg since 2007 and has survived the coming and going of four head coaches in his time there. He was credited as being a critical figure in the Lions run to the Super Rugby final in 2016. He was also involved with the Springboks on their November tour last year when he would have worked with Van Graan.

Originally a video analyst with the Falcons in Gauteng, Ferreira graduated to the defence role after moving to the Lions. “He’s well respected and a very down to earth guy,” a former colleague of Ferreira said this morning. “I always expected Van Graan to fill that defence role as soon as possible because of the influence of Jacques Nienaber there. If it (negotiations) works out for both parties I’d say he’ll do a good job for Munster.”

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Turlough 4 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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