VIDEO: The Bok 'bomb squad' blueprint in Munster strategy
Munster coach Graham Rowntree is going to unleash a Springbok tactic on the Stormers in the United Rugby Championship Final in Cape Town on Saturday.
Despite his full recovery from a concussion, Bok lock Rudolph Gerhardus Snyman will play off the bench in the Grand Finale.
Rowntree, in his final media briefing ahead of the tournament’s showpiece event, confirmed that he is using the 23-times capped second row forward in a similar role to what he fulfils for South Africa.
There are three personnel changes and one positional switch to the side that beat Leinster in the semifinal last week.
Conor Murray, Malakai Fekitoa and Calvin Nash return to the side after completing their return-to-play protocols following concussions they suffered in the quarterfinal against Glasgow.
Murray and Jack Crowley start together in the halfbacks, as Crowley moves from inside centre to flyhalf.
Fekitoa resumes his centre partnership with Antoine Frisch in midfield as Nash joins fullback Mike Haley and Shane Daly to start in the back three.
The pack is unchanged with Captain Peter O’Mahony joined by John Hodnett and Gavin Coombes in the back row.
Jeremy Loughman, Diarmuid Barron and Stephen Archer pack down in the front row, while Jean Kleyn and Tadhg Beirne start in the engine room.
Snyman also returns after his return-to-play protocols, but will be among the replacements.
Rowntree said Beirne and Snyman are both ‘world-class’ players.
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“I just feel Tadgh deserves the start,” he said of naming Beirne ahead of Snyman.
“He was exceptional in the last game [the semifinal win over Leinster last week].
“RG is proven to bring energy off the bench,” he said of the Bok’s track record with the national team.
“Not many teams can bring an RG Snyman off the bench,” he said, adding the tag ‘Bomb squad’ to his quote.
Snyman joined Munster, whose coach at the time was former Springboks forwards coach Johann van Graan.
Though his two-year contract with the province didn’t commence until 1 July 2020, Snyman arrived in Ireland in May 2020 following the cancellation of the remainder of the 2019–20 Top League due to Covid-19.
Snyman made his debut for Munster in their 25-27 loss to Leinster 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.
Snyman was nearing a return from the injury, but suffered a setback during his rehabilitation that required minor surgery.
In a further blow, Snyman also sustained substantial burns following a firepit accident.
He made his long-awaited return from injury in Munster’s opening 2021–22 United Rugby Championship fixture against the Sharks on 25 September 2021, coming on as a replacement for Fineen Wycherley in their 42–17 win against the South African side, and scored his first try for the province one week later in their 34–18 win against the Stormers.
In what was only his third game back for Munster, and his fourth appearance overall for the province, Snyman suffered a re-rupture of his cruciate ligament 10 minutes after coming on as a 51st-minute replacement for Thomas Ahern in Munster’s 43–13 win against Welsh side Scarlets on 10 October 2021, and endured another long spell out of the game.
Snyman signed a two-year contract extension with Munster in January 2022.
After 17 months out, Snyman made his return from injury on March 3 when he came off the bench in Munster’s 2022–23 URC round 15 fixture at home to Scarlets, replacing Jean Kleyn during the second half of Munster’s 49–42 win.
The 28-year-old made his Test debut against England at Ellispark, Johannesburg, in June 2018.
He earned the last of his 23 Bok caps in the 32=-12 win over England in the World Cup Final in Yokohama in November 2019.
He is earmarked for a return to the national team if he remains uninjured.