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Munster believe new signing Jenkins will be 'immense for the young guys'

The southern province hope the South African can influence the likes of Fineen Wycherley and Thomas Ahern.

Thomas Ahern and Fineen Wycherley.
Thomas Ahern and Fineen Wycherley.

MUNSTER BELIEVE NEW signing Jason Jenkins can have a positive influence on the province’s young forwards.

The 25-year-old South African will join from Japanese side Toyota Verblitz this summer on a one-year deal.

Although Jenkins has predominantly played in the second row, where he won his single Springboks cap in 2018, Munster say he has been signed primarily as a back row to compensate for CJ Stander’s retirement at the end of this season.  

Munster have promising young second rows in Fineen Wycherley and Thomas Ahern, among others, and senior coach Stephen Larkham insists that the addition of Jenkins will be good for their development.

“We signed Jason as a back row that can cover second row,” said Larkham. “We’re losing CJ and as soon as CJ announced that to us, we tried to get into the market to find someone who could actually replace CJ. That’s our thinking behind Jason.

“He is covering back row first and he’ll offer experience to anyone and everyone in this team in whatever position he plays in or any other position in the back five in that forward pack.

“I can only say that if you’re genuine about winning silverware, which I’ve said we are and you guys obviously think that we are as well, you’ve got to have depth in your squad.

“There is going to be injuries, there is going to be guys called up to the national team and we need to make sure that we have got the depth in all of those positions and I think Jason gives us coverage in all of those positions.

“I think he is going to be immense for these young guys, particularly Thomas Ahern and Fineen, he’s going to be immense for their growth.”

jason-jenkins-is-tackled-by-liam-squire Jenkins in action for the Bulls in 2019. Source: Photosport/Joe Allison/INPHO

Larkham stressed that Wycherley and Ahern have been making progress for the province this season.

“Fineen has had a number of starts this year, he is just out with injury but hopefully coming back this week – we expect that he will be available for selection this week [against Toulouse].

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“We have been trying to give Thomas a chance up there as well. They have both been progressing exceptionally well. We are very happy with exactly where they are at in terms of their development.

“And then you have got other back rowers that are coming along, Jack Daly and John Hodnett… I didn’t want to start naming names because there are so many to rattle through but there are plans to get all of these young guys game time.

“We are very cognisant that we are going to lose guys to the national team, to injuries, and that we need the depth in our squad. We are making sure that we are progressing those guys with game time as often as we can.”

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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