Monday 22 January 2018

I was trying to get Bleyendaal a little earlier, admits Penney

Tyler Bleyendaal
Tyler Bleyendaal

Daragh Small

Munster coach Rob Penney said he was chasing Tyler Bleyendaal for some time and had hoped he would have joined the Reds while he was in charge.

The former New Zealand U-20 captain will join up with his new team-mates in November when the ITM campaign concludes, where he currently lines out for Canterbury.

Penney admitted this week that he had hoped to bring the 23-year-old to Ireland before now.

"I was trying to get him here a little bit earlier, but obviously as time has gone on, the other coaches have persevered and he'll be good here.

"I coached him at Canterbury a lot. He's a great young man. He's got a lot of talent and he's a good acquisition," said Penney.

Bleyendaal is a versatile option, who can play at both out-half and inside-centre and he captained the New Zealand U-20s to World Junior Championship glory in 2010.

He also has 19 Super Rugby appearances for the Canterbury Crusaders, where he graduated through the ranks from the esteemed Christchurch Boys' High School, following in the footsteps of Colin Slade, Stephen Brett, Aaron Mauger, Andrew Mehrtens and Dan Carter.

Munster CEO Garrett Fitzgerald said Bleyendaal's signing was a boost. "We believe Tyler can play an important role in the future of Munster and will further strengthen our squad," he said.

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