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Johann van Graan insists his heart is still with Munster

Johann van Graan

Munster head coach Johann van Graan has insisted that he will give his all for the province until his contract runs out at the end of the season.

Van Graan has come under plenty of criticism in recent times for Munster’s underwhelming performances, and for the perceived lack of passion the South African coach has for the southern province.

Former Munster scrum-half Peter Stringer and former Leinster number eight Jamie Heaslip were just two of those who criticised van Graan for a tetchy interview he did with RTE Sport before his side’s win against Ulster.

Van Graan was speaking at a press conference ahead of Munster’s Heineken Champions Cup encounter with Castres Olympique and insisted he is still passionate about the province.

Johann van Graan on his passion for Munster.

“I absolutely want to be here. I’ve committed until the 30th of June with this club. I’ve communicated that to all the right channels as I’ve stated in the middle of December,” Van Graan said, via the Irish Examiner.

“I want to reiterate — I know you guys don’t know me well from a personal point of view — but my heart is certainly in this club. It’s always been in this club.

“Coaches make decisions, as I’ve stated here a few months ago. You would see that very clearly in my press release. I absolutely want to be here. We’ve got big dreams for this group, nothing has changed there.

“The most important thing is, I take you back to what a player like Dave Kilcoyne said, I’ve been open with this group. I will continue to do so and I’ll continue to put every bit I have into this club until I leave here on the 30th of June.”

Momentum is back with the province.

Despite the criticism directed at van Graan and his team in recent times, Munster have won three of their last four games, and look to have already secured their place in the Champions Cup knock out stages ahead of Friday’s game against Castres.

Munster’s style of play hasn’t been particularly entertaining, and it was again laborious stuff against Ulster, but credit must go to van Graan’s men for winning after having Simon Zebo sent off just 15 minutes in.

While some have called for van Graan to be relieved of his duties before the end of the season, Munster’s players do still seem to have faith in their coach after the gutsy performance against Ulster.

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