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Dublin: 5 °C Tuesday 10 December, 2019

Munster's Taute itching to get out on the pitch again after a year on the sideline

The centre is in line to make his comeback against Glasgow Warriors on Friday.

Taute is fully fit again after a lengthy period on the sidelines.
Taute is fully fit again after a lengthy period on the sidelines.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

JACO TAUTE HAS spent most of the past year studying financial management rather than playing rugby but now all he wants to do is start counting the minutes of game-time for Munster.

The South African centre, signed the previous season after some powerful performances during a four-month contract, suffered a serious knee injury against Cardiff last September and can’t wait to make his return away to Glasgow on Friday evening.

The 27-year-old chalked up 26 appearances in that maiden season with Munster after being drafted in as cover by Rassie Erasmus and he’s chomping at the bit to get back out.

“It has been a long time and I’m not going to lie, it’s been difficult to come back from a serious injury,” he says. 

“Luckily, I’ve been there before and I know what to expect and how to deal with the process. It’s been a long year but I’m fully fit.”

He had spent a year out before with a knee injury and knew how much hard work was needed to get back to full match fitness.

But the three-time capped Springbok also understood the need to fill the time with something beneficial — ‘or to stay off the Playstation’ — so he completed his degree in financial management from the University of South Africa.

“It’s great to be back and playing rugby and not just rehabilitating in the gym because that gets lonely,” he continues. 

“They keep you very busy when you are rehabilitating. You are here (in the high performance centre at UL) five days a week and they make sure you are on track but in my spare time I did manage to study and that went well.”

He has had his centre partner Chris Farrell with him for company over the past six months on the recovery circuit and that has been a help as they both try to deal with the frustration of being injured.

Jaco Taute Taute speaking at UL earlier this week. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

“Unfortunately he got injured when he was playing really well for Ireland so it was tough for him as well, but it’s better in a situation like that that you can spend time together, vent with each other, work hard in the gym together and just talk. Sometimes that helps.

“Hopefully for him I was a big help while I was still injured and he’s also on track with his rehab. He also did his ACL, he’s also done that before, so he’s in good spirits because he knows what to do. He’s a big professional, a big strong boy so he’ll also get through it.”

Taute has been to Scotstoun twice before with Munster in the Pro14 and Champions Cup and is expecting another feisty encounter with Glasgow, not least as there has been an edge to clashes between the sides in recent years.

Taute was impressed with the way Glasgow came back from nine points down with a man in the bin to edge out Connacht at the weekend.

“I think it is always a special occasion when these two teams play each other. They are a very good team and they’ve showed that in the way they played and the results they’ve achieved so it will be tough.

“What impressed me at the weekend was they were nine points down, had a yellow card, and still managed to get the win. That’s the sign of a good team.

“They are a very good team, they have been performing well and went to the semi-final last year. So it’s going to be a tough occasion for us but something we look forward to,” he added.

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John Fallon

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