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Red-carded Zebo learns fate, Snyman agrees to Munster extension

By Liam Heagney
({Photo by Getty Images)

Wednesday has turned out to be a very good news day for Munster as Simon Zebo has escaped a ban following his United Rugby Championship red card while Springboks lock RG Snyman is one of five players to agree to contract extensions at the province. There were fears that a suspension for Zebo would see him miss out on Ireland squad selection for the upcoming Guinness Six Nations. 

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However, a discipline committee hearing has cleared him for selection for this weekend’s Heineken Champions Cup assignment at Castres on Friday when he will look to show he has what it takes to catch the eye of Ireland boss Andy Farell.    

Zebo, who agreed on a Munster contract extension at the start of this week, was re-carded last Saturday versus Ulster for a collision with Michael Lowry and a URC statement read: “The disciplinary panel of Declan Goodwin (chair, Wales), Frank Hadden and Sarah Smith (both Scotland) considered all of the evidence and camera angles available and concluded that the player’s actions did not result in foul play. 

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“In particular, on detailed examination of the video evidence, the panel determined that it was No10 of Munster who completes the tackle on Michael Lowry of Ulster, with Simon Zebo only making minimal contact whilst wrapping his left arm. As a result, the player is free to continue playing this weekend.”

Elsewhere, Munster announced that injured Springboks lock Snyman will remain with them for another two years despite speculation that he could follow soon-to-depart head coach Johann van Graan out of the club. 

“World Cup-winning Springbok RG Snyman has signed a two-year deal that will see him remain with the province until at least June 2024,” read a Munster statement. “Despite enduring a difficult time with injuries since arriving at the province in the summer of 2020, the 26-year-old is well settled at his Limerick base.

“An out-and-out leader, he is highly regarded across the squad and already in four short appearances he has managed to display his athleticism and skill set, including a first try scored against the Stormers in Thomond Park.”

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Munster also confirmed that props Stephen Archer (one year), Roman Salanoa (three years), Liam O’Connor (one year) and hooker Scott Buckley (two years) have also all committed their futures to the province.

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Shaylen 1 hours ago
Jack Willis' Champions Cup masterclass proves English eligibility rules need a rethink

If France, Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland got together and all changed their eligibility laws in the same way SA has it would be absolutely bonkers. All players from all nations involved in Europe would be fair game as would their coaches. The investment in rugby would be supercharged as teams would rush to create dream teams. Transfer markets would be super charged, salary caps may change, private investment would grow as rich backers first buy clubs and then put money into their clubs in an effort to land the best players. The richest clubs and franchises would benefit most but money and players would move across borders at a steady flow. Suddenly countries like Wales and Scotland would have a much larger pool of players to select from who would be developed and improved in systems belonging to their rivals within superstar squads while their clubs receive large sums in the transfer market. The Six Nations would experience a big boost as the best players become available all the time. The Champions cup would become even more fiercely contested as the dream teams clash. Fan engagement would grow as fans would follow their favourite players creating interest in the game across the continent. Transfer markets and windows would become interesting events in themselves, speculation would drive it and rumours of big transfers and interest in players would spread. All of this is speculation and much of it would not eventuate straight away but just like in football the spread of players and talent would create these conditions over time. The transfer markets in European football is proof of this. Football had the same club vs country debate eons ago and favoured an open system. This has made it the largest game in the world with global interest and big money. Rugby needs to embrace this approach in the long run as well

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J
Jon 7 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

This is a bit dramatic for me, I think the Rebels and Force cultures would be very strong, and if a player is chosen from either, you can be confident they are in a good head space and ready. Whether they quite have the technical or tactical foundations of the other two states is where one would way their risk of selection. I see no need for Schmidt to worry about that risk in this squad. The main reason I could see a predominance of players from Brumbies and Reds, is simple cohesion. What might the coaching group make of what’s lacking in the Tahs, and to a lesser extent Rebels and Force’s, franchise? Certainly sides (players) that are running irish plays like we saw from that lovely McDermott long ball with have a head start. I hope the players can continue it at International level. Really liked what I saw of Wright (don’t know player focus and just hadn’t seen a lot of him anyway) in that game, can see him being a glue in a Wallaby side too. A with the similar worry of selecting players like Ryan, I think it unfounded to worry so much about forward balance at the moment. Including both Wright and Skelton in the same lineout is not going to lose you games gainst Wales. Nor will any unknown weakenss Wales might find in Ryan be exploited to any great extent. It is the perfect time to introduce such a young player. What other shortcuts might Schmidt want to make now, just a year out from hosting BIL? When Gamble came on the scene I thought he had a Pocock ability to break game apart along with performing the role of a openside well. I would be very keen to drop Leota/Hooper for Gamble, and in your squad make up, include Uru as a lock. Did you forget to remove Vunivalu from your team? Would you have Meafou in your squad if you could?

114 Go to comments
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FEATURE Jack Willis' Champions Cup masterclass proves English eligibility rules need a rethink Jack Willis' Champions Cup masterclass proves English eligibility rules need a rethink
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