• Munster look to academy after ‘devastating’ Snyman injury

    Munster assistant coach Stephen Larkham says the club has no plans to sign a lock after ‘devastating’ injuries to South African pair RG Snyman and Jean Kleyn.

    Springbok World Cup-winner Snyman tore his anterior cruciate ligament just seven minutes into his debut for Munster by falling awkwardly after poaching a Leinster lineout.

    His replacement, Kleyn, suffered a neck injury in the second half of the same match last weekend, but the club is less clear about how long he could be out for.

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    Speaking to Irish media on Wednesday, Larkham said that Snyman saw a surgeon on Tuesday night, but Munster is still unsure about the time frame of his recovery.

    ‘In terms of the time frame, he saw the surgeon last night but we still don’t have a time frame,’ Larkham said. ‘But it is a typical ACL, so it could be anywhere from six months to 12 months. It really depends on the rehab.

    ‘It’s devastating for RG. He has come over here with a real purpose to be a part of this team and he has missed out on that opportunity now for however long the rehab takes, so it is devastating news for him but also upsetting for the rest of the team.

    ‘We were really looking forward to it. He has been training with us for a good period of time and we certainly saw how good the guy is.’

    Larkham confirmed that despite the two injuries, Munster are not looking at signing a new lock as a replacement, especially as Tadhg Beirne has made a timely recovery from his own injury.

    ‘Short term, no. We are definitely focused on playing the game this weekend and finishing off this season best we can,’ Larkham explained. ‘From a second-row perspective, Tadhg Beirne is back which gives us a little bit of depth. Billy Holland is all good, Fineen Wycherley is back as well. I think it is timely for those guys coming back in.

    ‘We’ve also got some academy players. Thomas Ahern is showing a lot of promise, Paddy Kelly also. Both are good young prospects, who we would be very comfortable putting in the main team.’

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