'It's a good lesson for them. You've got to respect things around a fire pit'

Stephen Larkham is hopeful Munster’s players will learn from the incident last weekend.

De Allende and Snyman suffered burns in the accident.
De Allende and Snyman suffered burns in the accident.

Updated Jun 9th 2021, 12:05 PM

MUNSTER SENIOR COACH Stephen Larkham expressed the province’s hope that their players will learn from an incident involving a fire pit that left four of them injured.

Springboks duo Damian de Allende and RG Snyman, as well as Ireland internationals CJ Stander and Mike Haley, were injured in last weekend’s accident, which occurred when one of the Munster players threw petrol onto the fire, causing the petrol can to go up in flames and explode.

Stander and Haley sustained burns to their hands, while de Allende and Snyman suffered “more substantial burns to [their] legs, hands, and face,” according to Munster.

While Stander and Haley haven’t yet been ruled out of Friday’s meeting with Zebre in the Rainbow Cup, Snyman and de Allende will definitely miss that game as they go for their next specialist visit on the same day.

“There’s a lot of relief at the moment,” said Larkham when asked how the Munster coaching staff felt about the incident.

“We’ve heard most of the story and it was fairly scary for the boys. It could have been a lot worse so there’s a lot of relief amongst the team at the moment.

“From the coaches’ perspective, it was just an accident. They’re all grown men, responsible men and it just got away from them. We’re just lucky it hasn’t been worse.

“It’s been tough and some of the boys are still struggling but thankfully they’re not in a lot of pain. But there is some significant damage there and it will take a while.

“It’s a good lesson for them and it will be a good lesson for anyone who reads up on the story. You’ve got to respect things around a fire pit. They’re still reeling at the moment but they’ll bounce back soon enough.”

Last weekend also saw Snyman and de Allende named in the Springboks squad to face the Lions this summer and it’s currently unclear whether they will recover from their injuries in time to feature, although Larkham indicated that the outlook is optimistic.

Snyman was already rehabbing following knee surgery, having been injured just seven minutes into his Munster debut last August.

“It’s too early to say at this stage from my perspective,” said Larkham when asked if Snyman and de Allende are in danger of missing out with the Boks.

“They’ve seen the specialist and will see the specialist again on Friday. At this stage, we’ll be handing them over to the Springboks at some stage over the next month or so depending on how their rehab is going, particularly for RG where he’s in a rehab programme anyway.

“We want to make sure he’s at a sufficient level before we send him over there to the Springboks but basically, where we’re sitting right now, their next port of call is going to be with the Springboks.

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“We’ll make a decision as to when they get to move onto the Springboks.”

Meanwhile, Larkham confirmed that Munster won’t be resting Tadhg Beirne and Conor Murray this weekend as both players look to get more game time ahead of the Lions tour.

Leinster’s Andrew Porter has been ruled out of the Lions tour after suffering a toe injury in his province’s Rainbow Cup defeat to Glasgow last weekend, but Munster don’t have concerns for Beirne and Murray in that regard.

“I think you can look at it negatively and with concern, or you can look at it the other way and say two things: you’re getting match fitness, you’re playing with your team, which you enjoy doing and you want to do, and it leads to better things down the track as opposed to looking at every game as a potential injury risk.

“Most of our guys definitely don’t look at it that way. Both those guys need a bit of game time and they’re very keen to get a bit of game time. So we’re not going to go down that route of resting them.”

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Murray Kinsella

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