Rob Kearney questions Johann van Graan’s decision to leave Munster

Johann van Graan

Rob Kearney has questioned if Johann van Graan has decided to leave Munster as he feels he is unable to close the gap with Leinster.

Van Graan will leave Munster at the end of the season in order to join Bath, who are currently rooted to the bottom of the Gallagher Premiership table.

The departure came as a surprise, as van Graan had been offered a contract extension with Munster, but the South African coach has opted to leave Limerick in order to join a side who have lost all 12 of their fixtures so far this season.

Former Ireland and Leinster full back Kearney was speaking on Premier Sports and questioned whether van Graan is leaving Munster as he feels he is unable to bring real success to the province.

Rob Kearney on Johann van Graan.

“I think it’s a little bit concerning that he’s going to a team that is bottom of the English Premiership. If you’re a Munster supporter you’d really be asking yourself why he’s come to that decision,” Kearney said.

“I think in Ireland, particularly Munster, we put a lot of pressure on those coaches to perform, to win silverware.

“There is a gap between Leinster and Munster at the moment and he obviously feels that over the course of the next few years that he’s not going to be able to close that gap.

“If he does finish in the top eight in the English Premiership that might be seen as a decent result for him as head coach.”

Munster will be desperate to end an 11-year wait for silverware.

Although Munster have been involved in plenty of big matches under van Graan, having played in a Pro14 final and two Heineken Champions Cup semi-finals, the South African coach has been unable to guide the province to silverware.

In fact, Munster last won a trophy in 2011, which is a far cry from their glory days, in which they won two Heineken Cups and two league titles in the space of six seasons.

Van Graan does have one final season to attempt to win a trophy with Munster, but while they have put in some good performances this season, they have also played well below their best at times, and don’t currently look likely to get their hands on silverware.

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