• Van Graan: Bok pair can help Munster challenge for titles

    Munster coach Johann van Graan says the signing of Springbok pair Damian de Allende and RG Snyman will help the team reach their goals and challenge for championships.

    De Allende and Snyman both arrived in Munster from Japan while the 2019-20 season was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The pair helped the Springboks win the 2019 World Cup with De Allende starting at inside centre as South Africa beat England in the final in Yokohama.

    ‘Damian, RG, Matt [Gallagher] and Roman [Salanoa] haven’t even met the whole squad because we’ve been training in small groups, so guys are meeting each other over Zoom and Microsoft Teams,’ Van Graan revealed.

    ‘Everybody knows the ambition and dreams that we have as a club and I think it’s important to note that if you look at the four individuals, they all come from championship-winning teams and that’s something that we want to become.’

    The PRO14 is set to resume on the weekend of 22 August, with Munster now facing two derbies as they continue their hunt for a place in the semi-finals.

    Van Graan said, due to the prolonged break, they are instead looking at the resumption as a fresh start to a new season.

    ‘We don’t see it as having to finish a season,’ Van Graan explained. ‘When we started four weeks ago, we started with a new season and I think that was an important step for the team because we had some very good players that have moved on. We had to make a definitive stop and move on towards the future.

    ‘There’s a PRO14 to finish but we see that as the first competition that we’re playing in for the coming year. We’ve got two rounds of games to go and if we are good enough, we’ll qualify for the semi-final and there is potentially a final, so that’s the way we’ve looked at it.’

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    Dylan Jack