Kleyn will complete his three-year residency in 2019, which will allow him to play for Ireland. Bundee Aki and CJ Stander are two recent Irish internationals who have qualified to play the country via residency, after both completed three-year residency periods while playing for Connacht and Munster respectively. That three-year rule was extended to five years by World Rugby in May 2017 – it comes into effect in 2021.
Kleyn, a former Stormers second row has been an impressive performer since he joined the Irish province in 2016.
“I came over here two years ago with the intent of trying to make my mark on Munster and now I’ve got another three-year opportunity and I’m delighted, very happy and glad to get it out of the way early and show my commitment to Munster as well”, Kleyn said.
“I think every rugby player has an aspiration to play at the highest level and I mean the way Ireland are playing now, they are at the highest level, so if I could try to possibly make the team by merit I would love to play, it would be an opportunity I’d relish.”
In a statement Munster said: “Munster Rugby and the IRFU are pleased to confirm Jean Kleyn has signed a three-year contract extension that will see him remain with the province until June 2022.
“The 25-year-old South African lock joined the club just over two years ago and made his Munster debut in September 2016. Kleyn has scored six tries in 42 appearances for the province.
The powerful second row earned his first Munster Player of the Year nomination last season after an outstanding campaign that saw him make 25 appearances, including 23 starts.”
Kleyn played 17 matches for Super Rugby side Stormers and also represented Western Province 22 times.
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