Head Coach Johann van Graan has decided to leave the province at the end of the current season. Photo: Gruffydd Thomas/Sportsfile

'I believe it’s the right decision for me'

A new head coach is to take over Munster Rugby next year with the likes of Ronan O’Gara and Paul O’Connell among the favoured choices for Munster fans.

This morning Munster Rugby announced that Head Coach Johann van Graan has decided to leave the province at the end of the current season, when his contract is to end.

Van Graan was offered a two-year contract extension but decided to finish his time with Munster at the end of June 2022. He is believed to be joining Bath next season.

“After arriving during the 2017/18 season, I am now into my fifth season with this group and in putting Munster first, I believe it’s the right decision for me to call time on my contribution and step away at the end of this season,” he said.

“My family and I settled well into life here, this is our home, and in an ideal world we would love to continue living in Limerick, but I’ve been looking at the bigger picture.

“While we have achieved so much together, and still have over six months of the season remaining, I wanted any uncertainty about my future addressed as early as possible. It has been an incredible journey and I’m hugely proud of this group for everything we have done to-date ,” he added.

Munster Rugby CEO Ian Flanagan added: “We will be disappointed to see Johann go at the end of the season, he will be widely missed after forming such close relationships across the organisation.

“Johann has been a valued addition to the province and integral to all the successes we have achieved over the past four years.

“His hands-on approach and tireless work ethic have ensured the structures are well in place for continued success and we know he will continue to deliver on all fronts for the remainder of the season.

“For now, we are working closely with the IRFU in looking to identify suitable replacements with the confirmed departures of both Johann and Steve (Stephen Larkham) next summer,” he said.