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Munster's van Graan on the speculation that he is wanted by Bath

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Munster boss Johann van Graan has addressed recent speculation that he is being courted to take over at Bath, the struggling Gallagher Premiership club who kick off their latest Heineken Champions Cup campaign with a trip to Leinster this Saturday. The possibility of the ex-Springboks assistant joining the English club was something that first emerged in 2016 when Bath were moving on from Mike Ford.     

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Nothing came of the speculation on that occasion, Bath instead opting to appoint Todd Blackadder as their director of rugby and Tabai Matson as head coach. The club has now reportedly revisited that situation following their dreadful start to the current Premiership season and the knowledge that van Graan is out of contract at Munster next summer. 

The Irish province is reportedly keen on keeping their South African on beyond his current deal but the fact that no agreement has yet been reached on that two-year offer has led to speculation that his future could be elsewhere, namely at Bath.   

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Van Graan has refused to add fuel to fire ahead of this weekend’s trip to Wasps in the Champions Cup, the Munster boss stating at his midweek media briefing: “In terms of my own future, as I have stated earlier in the season, I’m never going to get into any contract discussions or speculation over the media. So until there’s a decision about my future, I’m not going to speculate anything.”

It was late 2017 when van Grann initially arrived at Munster, taking over after Rassie Erasmus decided to head home to take over the Springboks. So satisfied were the Irish with his initial work that the original deal penned by van Graan through to 2020 was extended a year early in 2019, taking him through to the end of the 2021/22 season.

Now, with assistant coach Stephen Larkham having already decided to return to Australia to take over at the Brumbies, it remains to be seen whether van Grann will stick with Munster or twist and explore options elsewhere such as Bath.   

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