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Munster’s New Defence Coach Has Been Confirmed

Ever since the departure of Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber from Munster last month, there has been a coaching role left void despite Johann van Graan taking up the head coaching role at the southern province. 

Nienaber was the defence coach for Munster throughout the beginning of this season and the 2016/2017 season and his departure led to Ireland defence coach, Andy Farrell, helping out with the southern province over the last number of weeks.

Van Graan had confirmed to the media last week that he hoped to confirm the addition of a defence coach soon and that man is JP Ferreira, the assistant and defence coach of the Emirates Lions.

Ferreira has worked with the Lions, who suffered heartbreak in the Super Rugby final against the Crusaders, for the last 10 years and he will now make the move to Limerick to link up with Munster from January 1.

A Lions statement reads:

On completion of more than ten years of hard work and dedication the Lions Rugby Company (Pty) Ltd. would like to bid farewell to JP Ferreira, defence and assistant coach of the Lions.

“JP has been part of the Lions Rugby revival and I would like to thank him for his hard work and passion” said Rudolf Straeuli, CEO of the Lions Rugby Company (Pty) Ltd.

“It is really hard to say goodbye to this amazing Lions family. I have been fortunate and blessed to have been with the Lions for ten years and have been part of ten Currie Cup and Super Rugby Competitions. There have been extreme highs and lows in these ten years of service, but nothing that I would ever regret. It has been an amazing time,” said Ferreira.

“I feel that it is now time for me to improve, grow and experience a new culture, team, environment and competitions. I want to thank every single coach, player and support staff that invested in my life at the Lions Rugby Company in these ten years. I cannot thank you enough.

“I’m really excited and am looking forward to this next challenge and chapter in my and my family’s lives.”

Ferreira will further his career at Munster Rugby from 1 January 2018.

Lions Rugby wishes JP and his family all the very best in his future endeavours.

Update: Munster have since confirmed the news and have released the following statement: 

Munster Rugby and the IRFU can confirm that JP Ferreira will join the province as Defence Coach having signed a contract until June 2020.

The 34-year-old makes the move from Super Rugby side Lions Rugby where he held the position of Defence Coach since 2013, helping the side to a Currie Cup Championship in 2015 and consecutive Super Rugby finals in the last two years.

After a decade working with the South African club across a number of coaching and analyst roles, Ferreira is expected to commence working with Head Coach Johann van Graan, Forwards Coach Jerry Flannery and Backline and Attack Coach Felix Jones from next week.

Commenting on the appointment, Head Coach Johann van Graan said: “We are delighted that JP is joining our coaching team. He is a great coach that has been very successful at Super Rugby level, getting his side to finals with an excellent defence record. He also has test match experience from his time working with the Springboks during the November internationals last year so brings a great amount of knowledge and experience with him.

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email [email protected] or on Twitter