Boks have no plans for RG return, just yet
INTERVIEW: South Africa has no ‘immediate’ plan to call up World Cup-winning lock Rudolph Snyman, but have not ruled out a recall further down the road.
Snyman, 26, made his return to the playing field for his Irish team, Munster, against the Sharks – playing off the bench in the 42-17 United Rugby Championship win at Thomond Park at the weekend.
However, he is likely to remain with the Irish province for a while – getting some much-needed game time under the belt.
Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids said Snyman remains part of the ‘bigger picture’ – in the wider squad.
However, there are no immediate plans for a recall.
“We haven’t spoken about him,” David told @rugby365com, adding: “At this stage, we are focusing on completing the Rugby Championship.”
The only injury concern for the Springboks – ahead of their final Rugby Championship encounter with New Zealand on the Gold Coast on Saturday – is flank Marco van Staden.
Van Staden, a second-half replacement in the 17-19 loss to the All Blacks at the weekend, was unable to train on Monday as a result of a shoulder injury he sustained in his 15-minute cameo in Townsville.
Van Staden’s injury should not be of major concern, as the Boks are well-stocked in the loose forward department.
Albertus Smith, whom Van Staden replaced in the 65th minute, did an admirable job in the No.7 jersey – while other quality forwards like Jasper Wiese, along with the Du Preez twins, Dan and Jean-Luc, are also with the squad in Australia.
The good news is that Snyman, capped 23 times by the Boks, including the 2019 World Cup Final win over England, came through his first outing without any problems.
He also showed glimpses of the form that made him a key element of the Bok bomb squad at the World Cup.
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Snyman last appeared for Munster – whose head coach is former Springboks forwards coach Johann van Graan – on his debut on 22 August 2020, though his first appearance for the province lasted only seven minutes, after he suffered a torn ACL during a line-out
He was in a race against time to get fit for the Test series against the British and Irish Lions, but a freak fire pit incident during a social gathering with his Munster teammates, saw him and fellow Bok Damian de Allende sustain serious burns – which resulted in the lock having to undergo skin grafts.
He was part of the squad, but a family bereavement prevented him from travelling with the Boks to Australia for the Rugby Championship and because of COVID-related quarantine restrictions was not able to join the squad afterwards.
The Munster coach, Van Graan, waxed lyrical about the Bok second row.
He added he will continue to play him off the bench, as he builds up his game time.
“When we recruited Rudolph we saw something in him that can make a big difference to our team and specifically to our group,” Van Graan said.
“When you look at players you don’t look only at what they can do on the pitch but also off the pitch. In my view he’s a phenomenal player and an incredible human being, so we missed those two things last season, the fact that we couldn’t have him.
“And the excitement to have him available for this season.
“I want to stress again that he’s come through such a lot both on and off the pitch that I’m certainly not going to rush him back into the starting team.
“We’ll take our time and when he’s ready for that I will pick him.
“We only saw glimpses [against the Sharks], the poach and the offload, the carries will come, the hits will come, the line-out steals will come.
“The one thing I didn’t mention is that kick-off he took, his movement on the floor, so I certainly rate him very highly, that’s why I signed him and he’s a massive, massive part of our group going forward.”
Van Graan said Snyman was “excited” at making it through the game and was chomping at the bit to play.
“He was very excited. We said that we won’t put him on the pitch if he’s not ready. He’ll get a lot fitter but his knees are good and he came on and made that poach straight away and in that last try, the way that he got that ball away on the touchline, that offload shows what he can do.
“He’s got a long way to go in terms of building up minutes and we’ll look after him carefully but in terms of him being excited to play, inside [the dressing room] he said: ‘Coach, I got past seven minutes’, which was brilliant.”
* Additional reporting (Van Graan quotes) courtesy of @URCOfficial