Bath appoint Johann Van Graan as head coach from next season

Munster confirmed the South African is leaving for the Gallagher Premiership club.
Bath appoint Johann Van Graan as head coach from next season

By Andrew Baldock, PA Rugby Union Correspondent

Bath have announced the appointment of South African Johann Van Graan as head coach on a long-term contract from next season.

Van Graan’s departure from his current position as Munster boss at the end of this season was confirmed by the Irish province on Tuesday.

Bath are currently bottom of the Gallagher Premiership following nine successive defeats, while they opened their Heineken Champions Cup campaign with a 45-20 loss against Leinster last weekend.

Bath said that Neal Hatley will continue as head coach through to the end of this season, leading a group that includes newly-appointed defence specialist Brent Janse Van Rensburg.

In a statement, Bath added: “Van Graan will be able to draw on significant expertise from the current coaching group. Specific roles and responsibilities will be communicated in due course.”

Bath rugby director Stuart Hooper said: “Johann is a phenomenal coach with a proven track record of developing teams to be successful on the pitch.

“He has experienced winning rugby environments at the very highest level of the game and knows exactly what it takes.

Bath v Clermont Auvergne – Champions Cup – The Recreation Ground
Bath rugby director Stuart Hooper (Ashley Western/PA)

“We have an outstanding and committed group of players and staff here at the club. Johann’s experience will add significantly to this.”

Bath chief executive Tarquin McDonald added: “We have huge ambition at Bath. Johann is a world-class coach who will play a fundamental role in our future success.

“He will hold full responsibility for our game, focused on delivering winning performances. I am delighted to announce this appointment.”

Van Graan worked as South Africa forwards coach and played a key coaching role with the Pretoria-based Bulls, winning three Super Rugby titles before joining Munster four years ago.

 

“I am hugely excited for the opportunity to join Bath for the 2022-23 season. I see huge potential in this club, the players, coaches and staff,” he said.

“I am coming to Bath to work with everyone, and to achieve great success with everyone at the club.

“This is an exciting next step for me as a coach, and for my family in moving to a proud club and a true rugby city.”

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