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'Munster man' Van Graan doesn't want next six months to be about him

Munster head coach Johann van Graan inists he'll continue to do his best by the province, until h...



'Munster man' Van Graan doesn'...
Rugby

'Munster man' Van Graan doesn't want next six months to be about him

Munster head coach Johann van Graan inists he'll continue to do his best by the province, until he walks out the door at the end of the season. 

The South African will take over at English Premiership club Bath next season, having spent almost five years in Limerick.

Recent results and performances have led some - including Munster legend Keith Wood - to suggest that Munster could be better off if Van Graan sped up his exit.

But speaking ahead of Friday's trip to Castres in the Heineken Champions Cup, Van Graan told OTB Sports that he remains committed to finishing his Munster tenure on a high.

"Everybody at the club knows my heart," he said, "I started here on the 19th of November in 2017 and I've loved every minute of it.

"I've put in my heart and soul together with everybody at Munster in this club. We're a united group.

"The most important thing is people. I don't want the next six months - every week - to be about me.

"Yes, I'm leaving. I've given my reasons. I've got incredible respect for Munster Rugby and the Irish system, and I'll continue to do my very best until the last day that I leave here.

"As I've said before, I see myself as a Munster man. My daughter was born here; I'll always refer back to Munster as 'my club', and I've done by best every single day that I've been here."

Van Graan received a timely boost on Tuesday, with the confirmed returns of Peter O'Mahony and Jean Kleyn ahead of Friday's game at the Stade Pierre-Fabre.

However, Simon Zebo is set to appear before a United Rugby Championship disciplinary panel on Wednesday following the red card he received in last weekend's win over Ulster.

When asked about his immediate future, Van Graan acknowledged the "noise on the outside", but added, "It's not surprising.

"You've just got to make sure that communication is clear. I've communicated the fact that I'm leaving back in December. I gave my reasons.

"The players, the club, know exactly where they stand with me. As the coach, and as a coaching staff and a staff we've got a job to do week-on-week. That's how we've been approaching our play - week-by-week - over the last five years.

"We are in the middle of a massive amount of games, and we've got a lot of games left hopefully up until hopefully the end of June if we qualify for URC knockout.

"We're just going to take it week-by-week, make sure that everything is good in the HPC [High Performance Centre] - which is a very enjoyable environment.

"Hopefully we can perform so that constitutes to results on the weekend."

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