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Springboks centre Damian de Allende sheds light on what caused scary fire pit accident

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Getty Images)

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Damian de Allende has given details on the weekend fire pit accident that left two Springboks and two Ireland internationals requiring hospital treatment for burns. The midfielder and lock RG Snyman had learned on Saturday that they had both been included in the Springboks squad to take on the touring Lions in July.


However, their evening didn’t finish on a celebratory note as the pair – along with Ireland duo CJ Stander and Mike Haley – were rushed to hospital after a petrol can caught fire.

De Allende, the 29-year-old who was one of 46 players included in the Springboks squad, has since been speaking about the accident, telling SuperSport in South Africa: “We were just sitting around the fire and one of the boys threw a bit of petrol over the fire and then it caught his hand and he just tried to put it down on the floor and then the whole thing caught alight and exploded.”

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There were initial concerns about the severity of the burns that were suffered but Haley and soon-to-retire Stander are returning to Munster training this week ahead of their match away to Zebre despite burns to their hands. De Allende and Snyman won’t be available, however, as they reportedly suffered more substantial burns to their legs, hands and face.

“Yeah, that is what we have been saying, they thought it was a lot worse when we went into hospital on Saturday night but when we saw the specialist on Sunday he said it wasn’t as bad as they got told,” continued de Allende. “We should be okay in a few weeks hopefully.”

The revelation that de Allende and Snyman had suffered burns was the latest setback last weekend for the Springboks who were coming to terms that they are unlikely to have No8 Duane Vermeulen available for the series against the Lions even though he was named in the 46-man squad.


The 2019 World Cup final man of the match suffered a first-half ankle injury playing for the Bulls last Friday and Rassie Erasmus said on Saturday night: “We expected some big losses and I think Duane is going to be one of them… it looked bad and Duane won’t limp off with an ankle, he won’t limp off the field so early. We are fearing for the worse.”


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