Friday 9 December 2016

'Hugely exciting' project player Kleyn signs Munster deal

Published 26/07/2016 | 02:30

Jean Kleyn has become the first arrival for Munster’s new director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus. Picture credit: Steve Haag/Gallo Images
Jean Kleyn has become the first arrival for Munster’s new director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus. Picture credit: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Rassie Erasmus has hailed the signing of second-row Jean Kleyn as the South African becomes the first arrival of Munster's new director of rugby's reign.

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Kleyn has been signed as a 'project player' and has penned a three-year contract. He will qualify to play for Ireland based on the three-year residency rule and is understood to have already signalled his intent to do so.

The 22-year joins from the Stormers and will link up with Munster next month. Kleyn was not involved in the Stormers' match-day squad for their Super Rugby quarter-final defeat to the Chiefs last weekend.

A wrist injury hampered his progress this season and with Springbok pair Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit in front of him, opportunities have been limited.

Powerful

The powerful Kleyn, who is 6ft 8in and 118kg, worked with Munster's new defence coach Jacques Nienaber at the Stormers and also played 22 times for Western Province.

"Jean is a hugely exciting prospect and a great addition to the province," Erasmus said.

"I've seen his development first hand and with Jacques' extensive knowledge of him we are all up to speed on how Jean can contribute to the squad.

"A naturally athletic player, we believe he will add further value to the pack and we look forward to welcoming him to Munster."

Kleyn will join Munster in August, subject to a work permit being granted, and will add considerable bulk to their pack.

Elsewhere, England's quest to become a dominant force has been given a major boost after the Rugby Football Union (RFU) agreed a bumper deal worth over £200m with Premiership Rugby for the next eight years.

The agreement is almost double what it was in 2007 and it will see Eddie Jones' elite player squad (EPS) increasing from 33 players to 45 as well a secondary EPS squad. Jones will now be allowed call 36 players into training camps, rather than the previous 33.

Jones will also be given more access to his players with the addition of two extra training camps in August and October, while the players will be given a minimum 10-week break.

Irish Independent

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