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World Cup winner RG Snyman to start his first match in 32 months

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Springboks lock RG Snyman is poised to start his first Munster match since his injury-ruined debut for the club in August 2020. The South African forward came a cropper just minutes into his first appearance for the Irish province, landing heavily at an Aviva Stadium lineout versus Leinster, and the ACL injury he sustained ignited a rotten run that he is now only emerging from.


He suffered the same injury in October 2021 just three matches into his return to play and it took until the recent March 3 URC game versus Scarlets before he was ready to play again after a 17-month lay-off.

Having had 17 minutes off the bench in that game in Cork and then another 21 minutes as a sub in last weekend’s Limerick loss to Glasgow, Snyman has now been chosen as the Munster No5 for this Saturday’s April 1 Heineken Champions Cup round-of-16 match away to the Sharks in Durban – his first start in a rugby match in 32 months.

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Partnered by fellow South African Jean Kleyn in the second row, Snyman lines up against Eben Etzebeth and Gerbrandt Grobler in a match-up that is sure to pique the interest of Rassie Erasmus, the SA Rugby director, and Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber.

Now 28, Snyman was awarded a contract extension in January 2022 that will see him remain in Ireland until the summer of 2024 with a club that is now helmed by Graham Rowntree, the coach who has named a team to take on the Sharks that shows five changes from last weekend’s home league loss.


A statement read: “There are five changes to the side that were beaten by Glasgow Warriors last weekend and two positional switches. RG Snyman makes his first start for Munster since his debut in August 2020 after featuring off the bench twice since returning from a long-term injury.

“The game will be Snyman’s Champions Cup debut with Antoine Frisch, Craig Casey, Niall Scannell and captain Peter O’Mahony also coming into the side. Full-back Mike Haley, Calvin Nash and Shane Daly start in an unchanged back three.


“Malakai Fekitoa moves to inside centre with Frisch in at 13 after missing out last week due to injury. Casey and Jack Crowley start together in the half-backs as Crowley moves from inside centre to out-half.

“Dave Kilcoyne, Scannell and Roman Salanoa pack down in the front row with Jean Kleyn and Snyman in the engine room. O’Mahony starts on his return from international duty with John Hodnett and Gavin Coombes completing the starting XV.

“Conor Murray also makes his return from international duty and is included among the replacements. On the injury front, Paddy Patterson sustained a knee injury at training and was unavailable for selection.”

SHARKS: 15. Boeta Chamberlain; 14. Werner Kok, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 12. Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11. Makazole Mapimpi; 10. Curwin Bosch, 9. Jaden Hendrikse; 1. Ox Nche, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 3. Thomas du Toit, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 5. Gerbrandt Grobler, 6. Siya Kolisi (capt), 7. Vincent Tshituka, 8. Sikhumbuzo Notshe. Reps: 16. Kerron van Vuuren, 17. Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18. Carlu Sadie, 19. Emile van Heerden, 20. Phepsi Buthelezi, 21. Grant Williams, 22. Ben Tapuai, 23. Thaakir Abrahams.


MUNSTER: 15. Mike Haley; 14. Calvin Nash, 13. Antoine Frisch, 12. Malakai Fekitoa, 11. Shane Daly; 10. Jack Crowley, 9. Craig Casey; 1. Dave Kilcoyne, 2. Niall Scannell, 3. Roman Salanoa, 4. Jean Kleyn, 5. RG Snyman, 6. Peter O’Mahony (capt), 7. John Hodnett, 8. Gavin Coombes. Reps: 16. Diarmuid Barron, 17. Josh Wycherley, 18. Stephen Archer, 19. Fineen Wycherley, 20. Jack O’Donoghue, 21. Conor Murray, 22. Joey Carbery, 23. Alex Kendellen.

  • Click here to see all the team selections across this weekend’s Heineken Champions Cup round-of-16 matches


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