"When I signed for Munster, I didn't know Damian was coming as well" - RG Snyman 1 month ago

"When I signed for Munster, I didn't know Damian was coming as well" - RG Snyman

"I have. Just a couple!"

For RG Snyman, the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a significant edge off his arrival in the land of a thousand welcomes. The South African has seen lots of his new abode in Limerick and has had his fill of online video calls.

There has been a pint of Guinness consumed, though, and maybe even two.

Even on a Microsoft Teams get-together - RG and 20-plus media sorts - the World Cup winner is a towering presence. Long hair and bushy beard, he fills the screen and flashes his pearly whites on a few occasions.

Having arrived in Limerick via Japan, Snyman and his partner were forced to quarantine for 14 days before they could get out and about. Munster head coach Johann van Graan dropped over a sod of Thomond turf but it was several weeks before the lock got to visit what will be his home stadium once rugby can properly return.

Van Graan coached the 6-foot-9 Snyman first at Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool and then at the Blue Bulls before both men went travelling. His presence at Munster was the main reason for the 25-year-old joining the province from Japan's Honda Heat. "First of all," he says, "Munster is a very tradition-rich club.

"But, mainly, the biggest reason was Johann. I've worked with him in the past and I know the quality of coach he is. I thought it was the best decision to come to Munster... coming here is the best way for me to keep moving forward and bettering myself."

Munster already had the likes of CJ Stander, Chris Cloete, Jean Kleyn and, more recently, Kenyan Knox on their books but Snyman insists there was not much correspondent with his compatriots before he signed on with his new club. Joining around the same time as fellow Springbok Damian De Allende, he says, was a pleasant surprise.

RG Snyman and Damien De Allende helped South Africa to World Cup glory in November 2019. Credit: Getty Images

"It's very nice to have Damian over here as well," Snyman begins.

"Actually, at the time that I signed, I didn't know that he was coming as well. So we only found out at 99 [per cent] that we were coming over together.

"I'm very happy that it's him specifically because he's a great guy and he's a hard-working player as well. I'm looking forward to seeing some good collisions from him!"

There is another Munster connection for Snyman, too, and one that brings that broad smile back to his face. Former Munster player and coach Felix Jones joined Rassie Erasmus' coaching staff for the 2019 World Cup and the lock says he 'made a massive difference to the team'. "The details be brought in and his analysis of the opposition teams helped us a lot," he adds.

Snyman was part of the Boks' formidable replacements' bench known as 'The Bomb Squad' during the World Cup but he is keen to show he can be a regular starter for his new side and one that can get them back to trophy-winning ways.

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