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Gerbrandt Grobler set for PRO 14 debut as Munster release statement backing the second row

30 October 2017; Gerbrandt Grobler of Munster trains separate from team-mates during Munster Rugby Squad Training at the University of Limerick in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
30 October 2017; Gerbrandt Grobler of Munster trains separate from team-mates during Munster Rugby Squad Training at the University of Limerick in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Munster have issued a statement ahead of Gerbrandt Grobler's likely PRO 14 debut this weekend, saying that it 'would not be within the spirit and values of rugby to turn its back on every person that ever made a bad decision, having made restitution'.

Grobler has been named as the replacement second row for the visit of Zebre to Irish Independent Park on Saturday night, and if he is brought on it would be his first appearance for the senior side.

Munster's signing of Grobler has been hotly debated this season, with the lock having previously served a two-year ban in South Africa after a positive drug test.

In a statement accompanying their team announced, the province reaffirmed their support for Grobler.

"In relation to Gerbrandt Grobler’s selection for the province, Munster Rugby and the IRFU wish to reiterate that Gerbrandt, as a member of the Munster squad and living by our values, will continue to be considered for selection during his time with the province, once deemed fit," they said.

"While some hold the view that rugby should provide no road-back for those that have taken a banned substance in the past, it would not be within the spirit and values of rugby to turn its back on every person that ever made a bad decision, having made restitution."

Here is the Munster team for Saturday's game:

Simon Zebo; Darren Sweetnam, Sammy Arnold, Dan Goggin, Alex Wootton; JJ Hanrahan, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, Brian Scott; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland (C); Jack O'Donoghue, Conor Oliver, Robin Copeland.

Replacements: Kevin O'Byrne, Jeremy Loughman, John Ryan, Gerbrandt Grobler, Dave O'Callaghan, John Poland, Ian Keatley, Rory Scannell.

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