Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball


'Munster have made the most impactful signings of any province since 2008'

John Duggan was joined by former Irish internationals James Downey and Tania Rosser, as well as I...

John Duggan was joined by former Irish internationals James Downey and Tania Rosser, as well as Irish Independent rugby correspondent Ruaidhri O’Connor for this week's Saturday Panel. Among other things, they discussed next week’s return of the PRO14 and the key signings made by Munster.

Munster will be bolstered for their upcoming games by the additions of Damien de Allende and RG Snyman both of whom played key roles in South Africa's World Cup triumph.

"They’re proven World Cup winners, they’re successful, they know what it takes to win and they can drag the guys with them and bring the standards up," James Downey said.

"I was down in Limerick a couple of weeks ago and I happened to walk past them. They’re big big boys. Snyman’s an absolute monster.

"I think he [Snyman] can bring that little bit of an edge, that little bit of an X factor that Munster need up front.

Downey also feels that de Allende and Chris Farrrell will be a formidable centre partnership for the province.

"It’s very exciting times to be a Munster fan," he said.


Centre de Allende and lock Snyman had been playing in the Japanese top league before arriving in Munster.

"I think this is probably the most impactful pair of signings that any province has made since Leinster went out to the market in 2008 and brought in Rocky Elsom and a few others," Ruaidhri O’Connor said.

"I know Doug Howlett would also be on the same level in terms of world status as these guys, maybe even higher but Munster were so strong when he came in. He was really the final piece in a jigsaw whereas these are being signed as game changers for the team."

One concern for Munster might be how they will cope if they lose the South African pair for several weeks to international duty.

Tania Rosser touched on this concern.

"Having the two boys is gonna bring a different dynamic down there, my worry would be though is if South Africa do look to have tests," she said.

"When they lose them, what impact is that going to have on the province?"

Last month, Ronan O'Gara also talked about the Munster signings on Off The Ball.

"De Allende was probably the best 12 in the Rugby World Cup," O'Gara said.

"It’s very exciting for Munster with the potential backline they have with de Allende and the options that gives them.

"Obviously Snyman up front, he’s invaluable out of touch.

"The biggest thing it might give them is just a little bit more belief and that’s very important at the highest level."

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De Allende James Downey Munster Ronan O'Gara Rugby Snyman