South African lock Jason Jenkins set for controversial switch from Munster to Leinster
Springbok lock Jason Jenkins could make a controversial switch from Munster to Leinster at the end of this season.
The United Rugby Championship holders have been on the lookout for a powerful ball-carrier to add to their tight-five options and have identified the 6ft 8ins, 124kg South African who joined Munster after a spell in Japan last summer.
Jenkins has barely featured this season due to injury, having been recruited on a season-long deal at a time when Munster were letting home-grown players in other positions go.
He had been linked with Connacht and Bath, but a report on ‘the42.ie’ indicates he is moving to the east coast which will leave a sour taste in Munster mouths, particularly given the move would need IRFU approval.
In recent years, traffic has largely moved the other way – although Nick McCarthy returned to his home province last season.
Leinster will make room for Jenkins on their roster by allowing Jack Dunne to leave.
The Dubliner, who has a similar profile in terms of size but has not played enough games for his home province, will join Exeter Chiefs next season.
Leinster have looked to improve the power in their tight-five after successive European campaigns ended in defeat to big sides like La Rochelle and Saracens.
Jenkins is one of three Springboks in the Munster camp this season, but RG Snyman is set to be the only one left next year with Damian de Allende believed to be returning to Japan.
“Look, it would be understandable,” senior coach Stephen Larkham said.
“Players move around all the time. Disappointing. He’s been great for us within the squad, within the organisation and then his performances on the field have been tremendous. So, he would be a loss, no doubt.”
On the retention of Snyman, who has barely played due to back-to-back cruciate ligament injuries, Larkham – himself leaving this summer – said it was good business by Munster despite his injury woes.
“I’m certainly excited by that prospect. We’ve seen glimpses of RG on the field and we’ve seen a lot more of him at training and around the place, and he adds a lot to this organisation,” he said.
“There’s always a concern signing big contracts. It’s part and parcel of the game.
“In terms of where RG is at, it’s expected that he will make a full recovery. There’s a tremendous team around him at the moment building him back up, so we’ve got full confidence in that process.”