Here's why Munster may be able to keep Jaco Taute past January
Post-match quotes from Rassie Erasmus will be music to the ears of Munster fans.
The Munster director of rugby told reporters as recently as Tuesday that the hopes of keeping Jaco Taute past January were slim.
Four days later and, off the back of another stunning performance and two excellent tries, Erasmus was beginning to believe in miracles. Perhaps the spirit of the season is upon him.
Another huge, huge game https://t.co/hqWl3L0wTP
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) December 10, 2016
Taute arrived in September after injuries to Francis Saili and Sam Arnold left Munster short of experienced bodies in midfield. He has been a revelation ever since he arrived but Arnold is fit again and Saili should be back for the December 26 game against Leinster at Thomond Park.
Erasmus, and Munster, will have to plead a very convincing case to the IRFU in the coming weeks. The player is said to be keen to stay and all involved at Munster would love for him to stick around past January. Erasmus said:
"You never want to get a guy in that blocks younger players and the development of young Irish players but then you look at the role Jaco has played in the development of Rory Scannell, and him playing next to Jaco. A guy like Sam Arnold has picked up some experience with him...
"If there is a chance of Jaco staying on, in a role developing young Irish players to be internationals, [it should be looked at] because he is, no doubt, performing on and off the field in helping the guys around him. He has helped a lot with Tyler Bleyendaal's confidence and with Andrew Conway and other backline players.
"[Keeping him on] is something I am thinking about, to be honest with you. I have to put the Irish system as the first and foremost thing. It is something I am thinking about and, if it fit into the whole plan. If it does, it would make sense."
Munster still have work to do but there is hope.
— SportsJOE.ie (@SportsJOEdotie) December 10, 2016
Erasmus can point to Scannell getting called up for Ireland training duty, last month, and Munster's good European form as other reasons to hold onto Taute for a while longer yet.
The province have a strong case yet but they can make it compelling if they see off Leicester again next week and put a tentative foot into the Champions Cup knock-out stages.
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