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Press Pass | Johann van Graan

16th July 2020 By sean geary

Munster Head Coach Johann van Graan.

Munster Head Coach Johann van Graan. Inpho

Munster Head Coach Johann van Graan spoke to the media remotely on Microsoft Teams this morning with just over five weeks until the province’s planned return to Guinness PRO14 action.

Read the latest Squad Update here and watch the latest video on Munster’s return to rugby at the bottom of the page.

Hear the latest from Johann below.

Training over the past four weeks…

“It’s certainly been very different to what we’re used to but we are embracing change. All credit to the senior management, staff and players for complying with the new process. The main thing is to keep our people safe and healthy, and everybody has bought into that.

“We have been missing the game that we love. We’re just taking it week by week, this is our fourth week back at the HPC and everyone has done exceptionally well.”

“Everyone would play tomorrow if we could because we are certainly missing the thing that binds us all together, which is the game of rugby.

“Who knows what will happen in the coming weeks so we’ll just take it day by day and luckily that’s something we have been doing all along. We just hope that we can all keep to our government guidelines and keep everybody healthy and safe and hopefully play a game of rugby again.”

Restarting the season next month…

“We don’t see it as having to finish a season. When we started four weeks ago, we started with a new season and I think that was an important step for the team because we had some very good players that have moved on. We had to make a definitive stop and move on towards the future.

“There’s a PRO14 to finish but we see that as the first competition that we’re playing in for the coming year. We’ve got two rounds of games to go and if we are good enough, we’ll qualify for the semi-final and there is potentially a final so that’s the way we’ve looked at it.”

New players adding to the squad…

“Damian, RG, Matt and Roman haven’t even met the whole squad because we’ve been training in small groups so guys are meeting each other over Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

“Everybody knows the ambition and dreams that we have as a club and I think it’s important to note that if you look at the four individuals, they all come from championship-winning teams and that’s something that we want to become.”

Ensuring that everything is done safely…

“The IRFU have been very good at guiding us through this whole process. The management and players know exactly what we’re getting themselves into and we are taking it very slowly.

“The first week we could only run next to each other in groups of seven and in the gym we keep to the social distancing rules. We then stepped that up to a bigger group of 14 and this week we’ve been using the hit shields for the first time.

“We’re doing everything possible to protect ourselves. We understand that we’re dealing with a worldwide pandemic and anything can happen but we’re doing the very best we can to keep our environment safe.”

Video | Niall O’Donovan on the new protocols at the HPC


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