Munster sign Jean Kleyn to two-year deal but RG Snyman set to leave
Munster’s second-row, two-into-one-won’t-go conundrum has been solved with news that one South African lock, Jean Kleyn, has signed a new two-year contract extension while another, RG Snyman, is to leave the club at season’s end.
Both men played a huge part in South Africa’s successful defence of the World Cup in France earlier this year but Kleyn’s belated selection for his country of birth had put Munster in something of a tricky position.
His five Ireland caps and long residency in this country meant he was recognised as an Irish-qualified player, but that changed when he was called up by the Boks late in the summer and made his debut for them before the World Cup.
Snyman was already registered as an NIQ (non-Irish qualified) player and there was no way that the province would have been allowed to retain both men under an IRFU system designed to keep pathways clear for young Irish talent.
Snyman has had a horrible run of luck during his time with Munster, suffering two devastating knee injuries in his first two seasons and he is currently absent again as he recovers from shoulder and chest issues suffered during the World Cup.
Kleyn is in his seventh season at the club and has played 137 times for them. He has been Mr Dependable and his form was exceptional late last season as Graham Rowntree’s side made that unlikely run to go and win the URC.
That earned him the club’s men’s player of the year accolade for 2022/23.
Snyman played a key role in that run-in too but there has been too little time on the park. In all, he has still featured just ten times in red despite having been at the club almost two-and-a-half seasons at this stage.
Munster have also announced a two-year extension for John Hodnett, the openside flanker was superb in last season’s silverware chase and again last weekend as the province picked up a losing bonus point against Leinster in Dublin.
The Clonakilty RFC man scored three tries in 20 appearances last season, including the match-winning score against Stormers in the URC final. He has made 45 appearances since his debut in 2020 and also featured for Emerging Ireland last year.
Liam Coombes, who is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury, has signed a new one-year deal. The Skibbereen RFC man played schools rugby with CBC and lines out with Garryowen FC in the AIL.
He can play on the wing and in the centre and has six tries in 19 Munster appearances since his debut in 2018. Coombes touched down against Leinster and Lions last year with his brilliant solo effort against Lions securing a bonus-point win.
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