Tuesday 21 November 2017

Munster's Kleyn keen to build on bright start

Jean Kleyn of Munster. Photo: Sportsfile
Jean Kleyn of Munster. Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

Jean Kleyn knows it's unlikely he is going to remain top of the try-scoring charts for Munster but scoring a brace last weekend was a good way to mark his return from a neck injury that ruled him out since last February.

The South African, who joined Munster on a three-year deal last season, scored one try in his 13 appearances last term so to touch down twice in the 34-3 win over Benetton Rugby last weekend was quite pleasing for the lock.

"I'm ecstatic about the start. It's just good to be back on the pitch, playing again. A long stint off it so, yeah, glad to be back.

"I have to say I wasn't expecting to score tries. I've never been a big try scorer so it's sort of counter-intuitive to what I usually get after a game. All credit to the team, I just got the ball at the right time."

Impact

The 24-year-old is looking forward to making a big impact this season, not least following the departures of Donnacha Ryan and Dave Foley to France.

His first season was going well with Munster until he was sidelined in February after picking up a neck injury against the Dragons and Kleyn admitted it was fairly frustrating from there on.

"It was a nightmare, man. They put me in a neck brace for four weeks just to see if it would possibly heal up so we could get me back for the tail-end of the season, the play-off matches, but it didn't work out that way.

"So, I spent a lot of time just next to the pitch, watching games instead of on the pitch playing the games.

"Damn it, it was frustrating. But I came back hungry and now I'm here playing again."

He hopes they can build on their good start when they take on the Cheetahs at Thomond Park on Saturday, but knows they could have a difficult evening with the South Africans.

Irish Independent

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