RG Snyman (file pic). Craig Watson/INPHO

Rowntree admits shock at Snyman's Leinster move

The Munster coach said he had heard the double World Cup-winning Springbok was either going to Bath or back to South Africa.

MUNSTER HEAD coach Graham Rowntree admitted he was shocked when he learned that World Cup winner RG Snyman was heading to arch-rivals Leinster next summer.

But he said that is just the nature of the business he is in and that it was Munster who had taken the decision not to offer him a contract when his current deal runs out at the end of the season.

Rowntree said he had heard the double World Cup-winning Springbok was either going to Bath or back to South Africa, so he was stunned when it emerged the giant lock was heading to join Leinster next summer.

“It was a huge surprise, I’m not going to lie,” said Rowntree. “I wasn’t fully aware of where he was going. There was chat of him going to Bath to see my old mate and his former coach Johann (van Graan). There was chat about him going back to South Africa. Yeah, I was surprised. This is a business, isn’t it?

“I sat down with him the first week in November and said there wasn’t a contract for him, unfortunately. Within a couple of weeks, this news is upon us, he’s going to Leinster.

“There we go, we deal with it, we row on. I have no doubt about his commitment to us to the end of the season. We have seen it in the last couple of days, in particular. There’s no doubting that commitment but it is what it is.”

Snyman, who has only featured in 10 games since he joined three and a half seasons ago remains unavailable because of a chest/shoulder injury picked up in the World Cup.

Munster decided to let Snyman go after opting to hold on to his World Cup-winning partner Jean Kleyn and Rowntree said it was entirely up to the player where he decided he wanted to play.

“We can’t determine where he goes,” added Rowntree. “I’m the bloke sitting in front of him saying we haven’t anything for him. As I say, we can’t determine where he goes.

“It’s not like we have been outbid by Leinster. We had nothing for him. That’s business. I am quite able to move on. I have more things to consider on my mind at the moment than this.”

Meanwhile, Rowntree said it was unlikely that Peter O’Mahony would recover from a shoulder injury in time to play Leinster at Thomond Park on Stephen’s Day when they will be hoping to bounce back after failing to win either of their Champions Cup matches.

“He has a sore shoulder,” added Rowntree. “We tried to bring him in last week but he wasn’t quite ready. We tried again this week and it’s not looking like he’s going to be ready for this week either, but that’s the nature of injuries. He’s a warrior, is Pete. He can take pain, he’s played with pain for us before but he has a very functional limb, his shoulder, his arm, he can’t mess around. It’s unlikely we will see him for the Leinster game on St Stephen’s Day. I’m getting used to calling it St Stephen’s Day!”

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