Munster assistant coach Stephen Larkham has raised doubts over whether Springbok duo Damian de Allende and RG Snyman will be ready for the upcoming British & Irish Lions series.
News broke on Monday that the Bok duo had sustained burns to their legs, hands and face after being involved in a ‘fire-pit accident’ along with two other Munster teammates over this past weekend.
De Allende, Snyman, Mike Haley and CJ Stander required treatment for burns following the incident.
While the latter two had superficial burns and are expected to return to training this week, the Springbok pair sustained more substantial burns and will be meeting a specialist again later this week to review the next steps of their recovery.
All four players will not be available for selection for Munster’s PRO14 Rainbow Cup match against Zebre on Friday.
However, former Wallabies international and current Munster senior coach Larkham seemed to put the two Springboks’ hopes of recovering in time for the Lions series on ice, when speaking to the media.
‘It’s too early to say [whether they will recover in time to face the Lions] at this stage from my perspective. They’ve seen the specialist and will see the specialist again on Friday,’ Larkham said.
‘We’ll be handing them over to the Springboks at some stage over the next month or so depending on how their rehab is going, particularly for RG where he’s in a rehab programme anyway.
‘We want to make sure he’s at a sufficient level before we send him over there to the Springboks but, basically, where we’re sitting right now, their next port of call is going to be with the Springboks. We’ll make a decision as to when they get to move on to the Springboks.’
While Larkham was relieved that none of the players were critically injured, he added that the incident carries with it an important lesson.
‘It’s been tough and some of the boys are still struggling but thankfully they’re not in a lot of pain. But there is some significant damage there and it will take a while.
‘There’s a lot of relief at the moment. We’ve heard most of the story and it was fairly scary for the boys. It could have been a lot worse, so there’s a lot of relief among the team at the moment.
‘From the coaches’ perspective, it was just an accident. They’re all grown men, responsible men and it just got away from them. We’re just lucky it hasn’t been worse.
‘It’s a good lesson for them and it will be a good lesson for anyone who reads up on the story. You’ve got to respect things around a fire pit. They’re still reeling at the moment but they’ll bounce back soon enough.’
Photo: Munster Rugby/Instagram