Bryan Keane/INPHO Snyman at Munster training today.
RG Snyman

'I can't commend the man more. He's had two years from hell'

Munster lock RG Snyman continued his recovery from his ACL injury today.

THERE WAS AN encouraging and very welcome sight at Thomond Park today as South African second row RG Snyman continued his progress towards a comeback from his long-term knee injuries.

The World Cup-winning lock took part in the warm-up and skills sections of Munster’s training session before moving off to do his own rehabilitation running.

While Munster haven’t put an exact timeline on his return to playing, there is some hope Snyman will be back in action by March.

Snyman has had a nightmare time since joining Munster in 2020, rupturing the ACL in his left knee minutes into his debut against Leinster. He suffered burns in a firepit accident while recovering from that injury, then re-ruptured his ACL upon returning to playing in September 2021.

In January 2022, Munster confirmed a new two-year contract for Snyman that runs until June 2024, but he subsequently had a setback during his current recovery from the ACL re-rupture, while also having to deal with tough times away from rugby too.

His team-mates have been supporting him all the way and fellow second row Jean Kleyn today spoke of his admiration for Snyman.

rg-snyman Snyman going through his rehab at Thomond Park.

“I actually can’t commend the man more,” said Kleyn.

“He’s had two years from hell in terms of not just his injuries, but family bereavements, being away from home as well during all of this. I think it speaks volumes of his character that he’s still coming in every day, big smile on his face, always involved.

“He has been sitting in on meetings for the last two years and still trying to add even though he knows he’s six or eight months out – obviously that’s six to eight months ago.

“There’s not a single fella that’s not excited to have him as part of the team and back in training, back on the pitch. He’s a fella that slotted in incredibly well from the start, he’s an incredibly likable guy. His resilience is insane.

“I’ve never met a fella who has gone through more and maintained a more positive mindset. It’s astonishing. I’d say if I was in the same position, I would just have thrown the towel in.

“Nothing seems to be able to keep him down for too long. He’s a phenomenal guy. We’re all very much looking forward to seeing him on the pitch again. He was involved during the warm-up and a bit of skills today and you can just see that the man is just an athlete.

“He’s a 6′ 10″, 135kg athlete, which is scary. So we’re all looking forward to seeing him involved again. He’s going to be a massive benefit to the team.”

While Snyman still has plenty of road to travel with his recovery, Munster will hope to have Jack Crowley fit for the visit to Toulouse on Sunday in the Champions Cup after the 23-year-old playmaker picked up an ankle injury against Northampton last weekend. 

rg-snyman Bryan Keane / INPHO Snyman is hugely popular within the Munster squad. Bryan Keane / INPHO / INPHO

Crowley watched today’s training session at Thomond Park from the sidelines.

There is also doubt over tighthead Roman Salanoa, who started against Northampton but sustained an arm injury, although he did take part in training today. As with Crowley, Salanoa’s availability will be determined later this week.

Munster have welcomed hooker Diarmuid Barron back from a shoulder injury, but Simon Zebo has suffered a low-grade knee injury and is not available for the Toulouse clash. The province say that Zebo’s issue “is not expected to be long-term.”

Jeremy Loughman (thigh), Tom Ahern (shoulder), RG Snyman (knee), Fineen Wycherley (shoulder), Paddy Kelly (head), Jack Daly (knee), Andrew Conway (knee), Keynan Knox (knee), Kiran McDonald (arm) all remain sidelined along with Snyman.

Get instant updates on your province on The42 app. With Laya Healthcare, official health and wellbeing partner to Leinster, Munster and Connacht Rugby.

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