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Erasmus keen to explore possibility of keeping Taute in 2017

The South African came close to scoring a hat-trick in Munster’s terrific win over Leicester.

Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

MUNSTER BOSS RASSIE Erasmus is keen to find a solution that would allow centre Jaco Taute remain with the province beyond the end of this month.

The South African centre scored two tries and was denied a hat-trick when he was dragged down in chase of a loose ball. Referee Romaine Poite awarded a penalty try in any case and the bonus point win arrived.

No loss tonight then, but after coming in as injury cover for Francis Saili and Sam Arnold, the 25-year-old import’s absence will be felt when his short-term contract comes to an end after the inter-provincial clash with Connacht.

An extension would require some serious bending of the current IRFU guidelines, of course. Erasmus understands the argument behind ushering Taute back to the Stormers, but feels his compatriot is adding enough value to the Irish system to warrant at least a discussion around prolonging his time in Limerick.

“You never want to get a guy in that blocks younger players and the development of young Irish players,” says Erasmus, “but then you look at the role Jaco has played in the development of Rory Scannell, and him playing next to Jaco. A guy like Sam Arnold has picked up some experience with him.

If there is a chance of Jaco staying on, in a role developing young Irish players to be internationals, (it should be looked at) because he is, no doubt, performing on and off the field in helping the guys around him. He has helped a lot with Tyler Bleyendaal’s confidence and with Andrew Conway and other backline players.

“(Keeping him on) is something I am thinking about, to be honest with you. I have to put the Irish system as the first and foremost thing. It is something I am thinking about and, if it fit into the whole plan. If it does, it would make sense.”

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Sean Farrell

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