Snyman hoping Munster provide platform for World Cup place
24 May, 2023, 6:07 pm
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – Irish club Munster arrived in South Africa on Tuesday with a familiar face whose return to rugby could be a boost for his country at the World Cup later in the year.
Giant lock RG Snyman, whose career has been bedevilled by misfortune over the last years, was passed fit to play in Saturday’s United Rugby Championship final in Cape Town where Munster take on hosts, and defending champions, Stormers.
Snyman was given an all-clear, along with Malakai Fekitoa, Conor Murray and Calvin Nash after the quartet missed the team’s semi-final victory over Leinster with head injuries and having completed the ‘return to play protocols’.
It is an ideal opportunity for the 2.06 metre lock to remind the Springboks of his prowess as they begin to finalise their squad selection for the World Cup in France, which kicks off in September.
The 28-year-old was a member of the 2019 World Cup winning squad but has not added to his 23 caps since the tournament in Japan.
Snyman was signed by Munster the next year but suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury seven minutes into his debut that kept him out for a year.
During that time he was badly burnt when petrol was thrown on a fire around which he and several team mates were sitting. Four Munster players required treatment for burns with Snyman the most serious.
He returned to the Munster line-up in September 2021 but in his third game back suffered a re-rupture of his cruciate ligament and spent another 17 months on the sidelines.
Snyman has started three matches and came on as a substitute in two others since his latest comeback in March, displaying some of the old athleticism and lineout smarts that saw him chosen for test rugby.
He was immense when Munster beat the Stormers 26-24 in Cape Town in the pool stages.
“It felt like I was living the ultimate fan experience for about two years – training with the squad, gyming with them, be around them but not playing,” he told the Irish Independent.
“It’s strange, it’s like restarting your career, but you have all the knowledge you built up before after being out for so long.
“I’m trying to do what I can each week to get better and I hope the performances I put in now and every moment I get, I want to show I am capable of being back with the Springboks and putting my hand up (for World Cup selection),” Snyman added.