MUNSTER HAVE confirmed that JP Ferreira will be the province’s new defence coach following his release from Super Rugby side The Lions.
Ferreira is expected to take up the role in the next week. He takes over in the role that was vacated by Jacques Nienaber last month when he and Rassie Erasmus returned to their native country to take on roles with the South African Rugby Union.
Commenting on the new appointment, Munster 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.
“I believe JP will fit in perfectly here at Munster and we look forward to his arrival,” van Graan said.
Ferreira has spent the past decade working with the Lions across a number of coaching and analyst roles, helping the side to a Currie Cup Championship in 2015 and consecutive Super Rugby finals in the last two years and has held the defence coach role since 2013. He was also part of the Springboks coaching team for their 2016 November tour to Europe.
The 34-year-old was contracted until next October with The Lions but has been granted an early release to join Munster and has signed a deal until June 2020.
Upon the news of his impending move to Munster, Ferreira said: “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.
“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.”
Since Nienaber left Munster in November, Irish defensive coach Andy Farrell has been helping out with the defence on a part-time basis.