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Dublin: 9°C Sunday 25 October 2020

'One of the best attacking players in the world' - Larkham excited by new Munster recruits

The Aussie legend has hailed the imminent arrivals of Damian De Allende, RG Snyman, and Matt Gallagher.

Stephen Larkham speaks to the press.
Stephen Larkham speaks to the press.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

WALLABY LEGEND STEPHEN Larkham reckons Munster have signed a pair of South African gems for next season in the form of World Cup winners Damian De Allende and RG Snyman.

And with Saracens utility back Matt Gallagher, who is Irish-qualified, joining from Saracens, the former Australian World Cup winner reckons the future is bright.

Lock Snyman will beef up Munster’s engine room while centre De Allende and full-back/winger Gallagher will fall directly under Larkham’s tutelage next season and he’s looking forward to working with them.

“De Allende is an exciting player, isn’t he? He has got very good skills, he is a big man.
“We played against him at Super Rugby level and at Test level. He is one of the best attacking players in the world. 

“He is not a one-trick pony where if you shut down his running game you are going to shut him down, he has got all the skill elements.

“He is somewhat of a kicker, he certainly has a good pass, he is powerful through contact, but he also has good evasion, so I think he is going to bring a lot of excitement to the game here.

“Matt Gallagher has performed exceptionally well for the games that he has played this year for Saracens. He is somewhat local, his grandmother lives or lived here (in Ireland) and we saw enough in the games that we saw this year of him playing for Saracens that we think that he is going to add something a little bit different to our team for next year.”

Head coach Johann van Graan intends spreading his squad across this three-game block during the Six Nations against the Kings, Zebre and Scarlets with Munster left with only the PRO14 to aim for this season after their Heineken Champions Cup exit last month.

Chris Farrell and Jack O’Donoghue, among 13 players released from the Irish squad for action this weekend in the PRO14, both start this evening as Munster bid to bounce back from their festive derby losses away to Ulster and at home to Leinster when they take on the Southern Kings in Cork.

Van Graan has handed a debut to back-rower John Hodnett, one of the heroes of the Irish U20 grand slam last year, and the Clonakility RFC product comes straight into the side.

There are two other academy players are in the replacements with South African native Keynan Knox in line for his eighth appearance, while Ben Healy could play his third game as understudy to JJ Hanrahan at out-half.

Jerry Sexton, younger brother of Irish captain Johnny, is in the second row for a Kings side who have lost nine of their ten games in the competition this season.

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MUNSTER: M Haley; C Nash, C Farrell, D Goggin, S Daly; JJ Hanrahan, N Cronin; J Cronin, N Scannell, J Ryan; F Wycherley, B Holland; J O’Donoghue, J Hodnett, A Botha.

Replacements: K O’Byrne, J Loughman, K Knox, G Coombes, C Cloete, N McCarthy, B Healy, R Scannell.

SOUTHERN KINGS: A Loubser; C Hollis, S Sithole, E Cronje, E Ludick; D Catrakilis, S Ungerer; S Ferreira, J du Toit, R de Klerk; J Sexton, JC Astle: L Badiyana, B de Wee, R Lerm.

Replacements: A van Rooyen, X Vos, I Prinsloo, A Fortuin, T Bholi, L Dapula, J Allderman, C Winnaar.

About the author:

John Fallon

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