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Munster's De Allende not in favour of Springboks joining the Six Nations

The 30-year-old is hopeful the province can end their trophy drought before he departs in the summer.

Damian de Allende in action against England last year.
Damian de Allende in action against England last year.
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

WORLD CUP WINNER Damian de Allende said it would be incredible for him if Munster were to end their trophy famine before he departs this summer.

The 30-year old said he has enjoyed his time in Ireland and while his new club has not been confirmed, it’s expected that he will return to Japan, having joined Munster almost two years ago from Panasonic Wild Knights.

The Springbok has welcomed the move by South African clubs to join the URC but he’s not in favour of them joining the Six Nations.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I really enjoy playing against New Zealand, Australia and Argentina. We’ve been playing against them quite a while and we’ve played against a lot of club teams in Super Rugby as well and I think that competition’s a whole different challenge.

“Maybe in the future it will change but anytime soon I enjoy playing against those guys and I think a lot of us South Africans that are playing in Europe at the moment are lucky enough to playing against the best players in Europe and then we also get to play against the best players in the Southern Hemisphere, which are New Zealand, Australia and Argentina.

“So, I wouldn’t like anything to change at the moment. I think the Six Nations this year was incredible and it was lovely to watch. All the teams played some great rugby and it was lovely to see Italy get a win at the end of it. But yeah, I would like South Africa to stay in the Rugby Championship.”

The focus now for the 58-cap Springbok is trying to help Munster win their first trophy in over a decade before he departs.

“It would be incredible,” he added. “It would be great for me but I think it would be special for a lot of guys who have been at the club for a very long time. Guys like Keith (Earls) and Pete (O’Mahony) and Killer (Dave Kilcoyne) and Conor (Murray).

“Not that they are finishing off their careers any time soon but I think at this stage and the amount of effort they have put into Munster and Irish rugby, for guys like it would be very incredible and I think it would be even more special but I would love to win something in Ireland and especially playing for Munster.

“I wanted to come and play in Europe and that’s why I came to Munster, I wanted to come to Munster, I wanted to come to a team which was very professional and very competitive, not just in Ireland but in Europe as well.

That, for me, would be incredible, and it would be nice to leave Ireland on a high like that.

“Obviously, I would have loved to have done a bit more than what I have done but obviously Covid held it back but I think for me as a player, just coming to Ireland, it’s always a bit scary coming to a different country but the way the guys accepted me and the amount of rugby knowledge I have gained through the coaches and the players I think has been pretty awesome as well.”

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damian-de-allende The Springbok is leaving Munster at the end of the season. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

De Allende has played 31 games since he joined in the summer of 2020 and scored his third Munster try last weekend, in the 51-22 win over Benetton Rugby, and he’s looking forward to this Saturday’s clash with Leinster at Thomond Park as they try to reverse last season’s league final against them.

“It just felt like we didn’t want to make a mistake in the game and when you play rugby like that you’re limiting yourself. Not to say you’re putting yourself under pressure in the game but you probably won’t execute and you won’t put Leinster under pressure.

“I thought we had the opportunities in that game to try and put the pressure onto them but it just felt in that game itself we were always under pressure.”

This week on the Front Row – The42’s new rugby podcast in partnership with Guinness – panellist Eimear Considine makes a welcome return… and she’s brought her Ireland roommate, Hannah O’Connor, along too. They chat about broken noses, tanning routines, initiation songs and balancing the Women’s Six Nations with teaching, plus how one fan named her child after Ireland winger Beibhinn Parsons! Click here to subscribe or listen below:


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