New Munster signing RG Snyman says he will answer his country’s call should the Rugby Championship go ahead later this year. The Championship is set to be played in New Zealand on a condensed six-week scheduled across November and December.
That would clash with some big games for Snyman’s new club, Munster, but the World Cup winner says he is already in no doubt that he will be available for South Africa’s Rugby Championship campaign.
The Rugby Championship is set to be begin on November 7 and run until December 12. Munster should have Pro14 fixtures throughout November, but the real blow would be the absence of Snyman for their opening game of the 2020/21 Champions Cup season, which is expected to be played on the weekend of December 12/13.
Munster would also have to plan without fellow Springbok Damien de Allende, who signed for the province alongside Snyman last November. The pair joined their new teammates in Ireland over the last few weeks.
In a cruel twist for Munster supporters, it was former Munster boss Rassie Erasmus who insisted that players based overseas would be eligible for selection for the Springboks, a move that proved vital to South Africa’s successful World Cup campaign in Japan last year.
Munster haven’t managed to break the Champions Cup semi-final barrier since they last won the competition in 2008, and the absence of de Allende and Snyman for the opening stages of the 2020/21 edition robs them of their two marquee signings.
Yet Snyman explained that Munster are already aware of his intention to play for South Africa, should the Rugby Championship go ahead.
“Me, personally I will (play for South Africa),” Snyman told the Irish Independent.
“There is still a lot going on to see if the games in the Rugby Championship will go ahead. (But) yes. I am lucky Munster are allowing me to play for the Springboks.”
The arrival of Snyman and de Allende keeps the strong South African flavour alive at Munster. Rassie Erasmus left his role as Munster director of rugby in 2017 to join the Springboks, guiding them to the Webb Ellis Cup last year.
Erasmus was succeeded in Munster by former Springboks forwards coach Johann van Graan, and Snyman said the opportunity to work with van Graan was the driving force behind his move from Japan’s Honda Heat to Thomond Park.
“The biggest reason I came here was coach Johann. I’ve worked with him in the past and I know the quality of coach he is,” he said.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 4, 2020
“I haven’t worked under him that much before, even though I know him a long time. But I do know that he’s a quality coach. Speaking to anyone that has ever worked with him, it’s only positive [things that they say].
“I really enjoyed my time in Japan. From a career perspective, I thought it was a better move to come over to Munster and work under coach Johann to keep moving forward and keep improving.
“I still think I need to work on the smaller details from a technical side and working under him is great for that because he is very technical and his off-field work is very detailed.”
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