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Double boost for Munster with star Springbok duo set to be available for rugby return

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Springbok centre Damian de Allende (pictured) is joining Munster along with international team-mate RG Snyman. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Springbok centre Damian de Allende (pictured) is joining Munster along with international team-mate RG Snyman. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Springbok centre Damian de Allende (pictured) is joining Munster along with international team-mate RG Snyman. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

MUNSTER have confirmed that Springbok pair RG Snyman and Damian de Allende will join the province on July 1 and they are set to be available for the run-in and knock-outs if the 2019/20 Guinness PRO14 season resumes.

The World Cup winners are set to link up with their new squad-mates when Munster and the other provinces are given the green light to train together this summer.

Johann van Graan’s side will be bolstered by the arrival of the powerful duo, as well as full-back Matt Gallagher and Leinster prop Roman Salanoa.

And, while the coach revealed that he does not yet know if the players will be allowed to contribute if the provinces are allowed to play one another in August in a curtailed run-in, before the PRO14 knockouts in September, it is expected that they will be cleared to play.

"RG Snyman and Damian De Allende will definitely join the Munster squad in the summer and will officially join Munster Rugby on July 1 regardless of what happens with Covid-19," Johann van Graan said in a video to fans at the weekend.

"I’m really looking forward to seeing both of them play for Munster.

"It is still to early to determine if RG Snyman, Damian de Allende and Matt Gallagher will be eligible to play in the closing stages of the current PRO14 season if that goes ahead."

It looks like they will be able to contribute. The PRO14 board is due to meet later this week to discuss their plans for resuming rugby. A proposal is on the table to allow players registered before the restart to be registered for the resumption and then the 2020/21 season.

It is thought the competition organisers do not want a situation where players are sidelined through no fault of their own.

The situation will also benefit Connacht and Ulster who are making additions to their squad, while Leinster are not planning any new signings and are likely to lose Wallaby Joe Tomane, who has been linked to the Dragons.

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Munster are also monitoring the situation with regards travel to and from South Africa where CJ Stander and Chris Cloete have based themselves during the Covid-19 lockdown. De Allende and Snyman are understood to have remained in Japan, where they played in the Top League until it was called off.

Currently, there are no commercial international flights in or out of the Rainbow nation and a number of English clubs have expressed concern about getting their players back in time to begin training ahead of the planned Premiership resumption this summer. The ban is currently scheduled to go on until May 31, but could be extended.

The English league is expected to return before the PRO14, with rugby in Ireland scheduled to be allowed as part of stage five of the lifting of restrictions which is currently planned for August 10.

The provinces hope to be able to return to training in small numbers before that date in a bid to be able to stage inter-provincial matches behind closed doors, at the Aviva Stadium from August 17.

However, no return to training or playing dates have been confirmed as the unions, clubs and competition organisers continue to work with public health officials towards finishing the season.

Meanwhile, former Munster No 8 Robin Copeland will join French Pro D2 club Soyaux Angoulême XV Charente on a three-year contract from Connacht.



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