Tuesday 24 October 2017

Erasmus may give new recruit Deysel debut against Toulouse

Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Munster coach Rassie Erasmus is hopeful that new signing Jean Deysel will be available to debut against Toulouse in the Champions Cup next weekend and he has predicted the ex-Springbok will make a big impact.

Season-ending injuries to Dave Foley and Jean Kleyn forced Munster into the transfer market in recent weeks and after all Irish avenues turned up fruitless, Erasmus turned to home to fill a key void in the second-row.

According to the former South African international, Munster are just one injury away from a crisis in the lock position and that utility forward Deysel (32) - who is scheduled to link up with his new team-mates later this week - will give them the cover they need as they enter a key time of the season.

"We are one injury away from really needing him to step almost into the match-day 23 so I think it's very close (if he is eligible). I think it will be quicker than last time when we had to wait for Jaco Taute, just because we know the process now," said Erasmus.

"The first thing we did was look at all the Irish options and phoned around and spoke to Connacht and Leinster to see if they could lend us one of their players.

"But there is always the dilemma that if you have played for another province or club in the European Cup and if you are in the match-day 23 then you can't play for us.

"At the end of the day we just couldn't find an Irish-qualified player and then I started looking around at who was available, who would be willing to come here and who would fit in and I just know Jean really well so I think he will do a job for us."

Munster and Erasmus have already looked to his homeland this season with the signing of centre Taute, who has proven to be a huge success and a real fans' favourite at Thomond Park.

And Erasmus thinks Deysel's work ethic and temperament will also see him slot right into the province's set-up.

"One is a flanker and one is a centre. Jaco plays at centre sometimes like a flanker, and I guess that's what makes Jaco a little bit different to other centres because his play is really physical.

"Jean has played second-row and loose forward and has a few Springbok caps and he's been a leader in the team."

Irish Independent

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