Wednesday 17 January 2018

New man Erasmus set to make South African hotshot his first Munster signing

South African-born Jean Kleyn of the Stormers. Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images/Getty Images
South African-born Jean Kleyn of the Stormers. Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Munster are in advanced talks with South African-born second-row Jean Kleyn as Rassie Erasmus looks set to seal his first signing since taking over as director of rugby.

Kleyn has played with Western Province and the Stormers over the last two years. At 6ft 8ins and almost 18 stone, the 22-year old will add considerable bulk to the Munster pack.

Fears are growing over Mark Chisholm's career after the 34-year-old Australian second-row missed the tail end of last season with concussion.

Munster have already re-signed former Academy second-row Darren O'Shea from Worcester.

The signing of Kleyn - who would be seen as a project player and will qualify to play for Ireland after completing his three-year residency - would have to be approved by the IRFU but Munster are confident of getting the deal over the line.


Rassie Erasmus. Picture credit: Steve Haag/Gallo Images
Rassie Erasmus. Picture credit: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Another South African who is going the opposite way is winger Gerhard van der Heever, who is reported to have signed with Japanese side Yamaha Jubilo.

Meanwhile, Munster have confirmed that three members of Ireland's U-20 squad that reached last month's World Cup final will join theirs Academy. Shane Daly, Sean O'Connor and Vincent O'Brien will enter in year one.

There was no place for tighthead prop Ben Betts or back-row Kelvin Browne but Munster have stressed that further additions can still be made.

Despite another impressive season with Cork Con, Tomás Quinlan has left the province, while the departures of Jack Cullen (London Scottish) and Ryan Foley means that Munster are now without a recognised scrum-half in their Academy.

Munster Academy 2016/17

Year 3: R Burke, G O'Shea, S Fitzgerald, D Goggin, B Scott.

Year 2: N Hodson, B Johnston, B Kilkenny, O Lyons, St McMahon, L O'Connor, C Oliver, JP Phelan.

Year 1: G Coombes, S Daly, J Foley, C Nash, V O'Brien, S O'Connor, F Wycherley.

Elsewhere, former Munster winger Luke O'Dea has been included in Ireland's squad for this weekend's Rugby Europe Sevens Trophy in Prague.

O'Dea, who spent last season playing in France with Lille, is without a club and will be hoping to impress potential suitors.

The winner of this tournament will be promoted onto the Rugby Europe Grand Prix series next season which will give teams the chance to qualify for the World Series Qualifiers.

Ireland Sevens squad - A Byrne, T Daly, B Dardis, I Fitzpatrick, D Goggin, M McGrath, H McNulty, L O'Dea, J O'Donnell, J Rowland, S Toal-Lennon, A Wootton.

Irish Independent

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