Bath confirm Johann van Graan as new head coach

Planet Rugby

Bath have announced the appointment of current Munster boss Johann van Graan as their new head coach ahead of the 2022/23 season on a long-term deal.

The former South Africa forwards coach will link up with the Premiership side for next season having served five successful years with the United Rugby Championship outfit, during which he has led Munster to two Champions Cup semi-finals, three league semi-finals, and a PRO14 final earlier this year.

Neal Hatley will continue as head coach through to the end of the 2021/22 season leading the coaching group, which includes Brent Janse van Rensburg in the role of defence coach for this season as announced on Tuesday.

World-class coach

Following his appointment, 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.

Commenting on the new structure, chief executive Tarquin McDonald said: “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, focussed on delivering winning performances. I am delighted to announce this appointment and look forward to welcoming Johann and his family to Bath this summer.”

Van Graan’s experience includes his role as Springbok forwards coach, winning the bronze medal in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. He also played a key coaching role for the Bulls in winning three Super Rugby titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010. Throughout his career Van Graan has also developed a long line of players to greatness on the international stage both in Ireland and South Africa.

Director of rugby Stuart Hooper added: “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.

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

Commenting on his appointment, Van Graan said: “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. 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.”