Head Coach Johann Van Graan Reacts To Munster’s Champions Cup ‘Pool Of Death’

Mountain to climb.

Two-time European champions Munster have been drawn in a Champions Cup ‘Pool of Death’ for next season alongside Saracens, Racing 92 and Ospreys, leaving the southern province with one hell of a mountain to climb.

Munster have reached the semi-final stages of the competition for the last three seasons in-a-row, twice under van Graan, but were knocked out by next season’s pool stage opponents Saracens (twice) and Racing 92 in those three games.

But van Graan is remaining optimistic. The South African will be assisted next season by Wallabies legend Stephen Larkham, who joins as a senior coach and former England and Lions coach Graham Rowntree, who joins as his new forwards coach.

“Saracens have just completed the double after winning the Champions Cup and the Premiership and everyone knows how strong they are.” van Graan said.

“Munster and Racing have faced each other quite a few times in recent years, they are a side that have so many talented players in every position and have reached the final of the competition twice in the last four seasons.

“Ospreys are another quality outfit we know really well from the PRO14, they won more games than any other Welsh side in the league last year and showed how much the Champions Cup means to them with their excellent play-off win over Scarlets last month.

“It’s such a tough draw but that’s why it’s called the Champions Cup and that’s why we want to be in this competition, it will be a very exciting challenge for us and it is one that we are looking forward to.”