Johann van Graan: Springbok duo can help Munster become championship-winning team

Damian de Allende (Gallo Images)
Damian de Allende (Gallo Images)
  • Munster's South African coach Johann van Graan believes the arrival of Springbok duo Damian de Allende and RG Snyman will boost the Irish team.
  • The former Springbok assistant coach says the Bok duo "haven't even met the whole squad" due to Covid-19 restrictions.
  • Van Graan has ambitions to turn Munster into a "championship-winning team".

Munster coach Johann van Graan is confident that the arrival of Springbok duo Damian de Allende and RG Snyman will boost the Irish team.

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The World Cup winners both arrived in Munster from Japan while the 2019-20 season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Due to the Covid-19 restrictions imposed, Van Graan said it was a strange introduction for new players at the club.

"Damian, RG, Matt (Gallagher) and Roman (Salanoa) haven't even met the whole squad because we've been training in small groups, so guys are meeting each other over Zoom and Microsoft Teams," Van Graan told the Irish Times.

"When Damian came in he was in isolation for two weeks. He's coming in from Japan, so you are bringing him food and looking after him. He's been behind a window and a wall, so [that was] a pretty strange start.

"When RG and his wife came, similarly from Japan, they went into their home and there's a wattbike and some weights waiting for him, and a piece of grass, and they just entered a home that's so new to them."

Van Graan, a former Springbok assistant coach, has no doubt that the newcomers will add value.

"Everybody knows the ambition and dreams that we have as a club and I think it's important to note that if you look at the four individuals, they all come from championship-winning teams and that's something that we want to become."

English fullback/wing Gallagher has joined from Saracens, while American prop Salanoa has joined from rival club Leinster.

The PRO14 is set to resume on the weekend of 22 August, with Munster facing two derbies - against Leinster (away) and Connacht (home) - and as they continue their hunt for a place in the semi-finals.

Munster are second in Conference B, with nine wins from 13 matches.

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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