Johann van Graan’s long goodbye is to Munster’s detriment


“If you gotta go, go now.”

That sentiment was penned many moons ago by Bob Dylan.

But it seems that IRFU and Munster didn’t consider those words when dealing with the news that Johann van Graan would not, after all, be staying with the province.

Firstly, let’s be absolutely clear that van Graan was fully entitled to invoke the release clause in his contract and opt for a new deal with Bath, who are drifting hopelessly at the bottom of the English Premiership. With zero wins from 10 outings until last Saturday – they finally scraped home against Worcester – Bath are fortunate that relegation is suspended for the moment. So, the club is in very serious need of a rebuild, and, with the vacuum cleaner technology experts, Dyson, as their title sponsor, money is unlikely to be in short supply.

Having said that, I doubt if there are many business companies who would retain a senior manager departing in these circumstances. I’d imagine the conversation would be short, if not particularly sweet, with Dylan’s mantra being invoked, as it were.

With Stephen Larkham heading off to the Brumbies, the top of the Munster coaching ticket might well have been looked at much more closely. Let’s all hope that Munster can win some silverware this year, but that would not deflect the arguments currently circulating that a change would be best, nor would it prove those points of principle to be incorrect.

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