RG Snyman set to miss Lions Test Series after skin graft on fire-pit injuries
"There’s a small chance."
RG Snyman has had a tough 10 months, and then some.
A marquee signing for Munster, announced in late 2019, the World Cup-winning lock arrived at the southern province amid Ireland's first Covid-enforced lockdown.
Snyman, by all accounts, trained the house down but his Munster debut, and his entire 2019/20 and 2020/21 contributions for the team amounted to six minutes. He claimed a lineout against Leinster, at the Aviva Stadium, landed awkwardly and damaged knee ligaments in the process.
The South African got straight down to rehab work and although he would not return to finish out the season with Munster, the province's medical staff assisted his efforts to get right for the summer.
Snyman was hoping to feature in what would be a once-in-a-career opportunity to face the British & Irish Lions on home soil. Sure enough, after passing his rehab markers, he was included in a large Springboks squad for their summer games against Georgia and the Lions.
It was always going to be tight, getting game-time back into those rangy legs ahead of a gruelling Lions Test Series, but the 6-foot-7 lock hit a major snag before he even boarded a flight home.
Snyman, Mike Haley, CJ Stander and Damian De Allende, who also made the Boks squad, all received burns after a fire-pit incident that saw petrol being thrown on the fire to stoke it up. Both Snyman and De Allende headed back home, but the second row's injuries were worse than first feared.
It was first reported by South African broadcaster Netwerk 24 that Snyman had been to hospital for a skin graft on his knee, where there had been substantial burns. Asked about the procedure at a press briefing, this afternoon, Springboks assistant coach Deon Davids confirmed:
"RG Snyman is currently not with us. He went for a skin graft and will start the process of rehabilitation. As he recovers, he can return. There’s a small chance as it stands of him playing in the series against the British and Irish Lions."
Given that the First Test against the Lions is less than three weeks away, it is highly unlikely that Snyman will be back for the start of the three-match series. If he features at all, it will be a surprise.
The Springboks do have plenty of talented locks to call on, but Eben Etzebeth was withdrawn as a precaution after only 40 minutes of last Friday's win over Georgia.
LISTEN TO HOUSE OF RUGBY'S LIONS SERIES: EPISODE 2