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‘He’s 6 foot 10 and runs like a winger’ | Quinlan on the loss of Snyman

Former Munster man Alan Quinlan spoke on OTB AM on Friday about just how big a loss RG Snyman wil...



Rugby

‘He’s 6 foot 10 and runs like a winger’ | Quinlan on the loss of Snyman

Former Munster man Alan Quinlan spoke on OTB AM on Friday about just how big a loss RG Snyman will be for Munster over the coming months.

The former Ireland flanker discussed the implications on the show earlier in the week, however since the worst was confirmed, he now looked at what Munster can do for the next six months.

“It's gone from excitement to devastation really,” Quinlan said.

“He's a massive loss. I think you can build the gameplan around someone that impactful, that big and strong and athletic.

“I know a lot of Munster’s play they would have wanted to do revolved around RG Snyman and some of his carries.”

South Africa's RG Snyman goes through Namibia's Peter John Walters and Johan Retief during the 2019 Rugby World Cup match at the City of Toyota Stadium in Japan South Africa's RG Snyman goes through Namibia's Peter John Walters and Johan Retief during the 2019 Rugby World Cup match at the City of Toyota Stadium, Toyota City, Japan. Picture by: David Davies/PA Archive/PA Images

Despite seldom being a starting player for the Springboks, Snyman has impressed Quinlan every time he stepped onto the pitch.

“I know he’s come off bench, but [Eben] Etzebeth was probably the starting lock and another freakish athlete,” he said.

“I just think this someone like [Snyman] gets over the gain line, gets his hands through, [and] makes lots of line breaks himself.

“He trained unbelievably well in the last few weeks he’s had a real impact and inspired people around him and excited people around him to play with him.

“He's 6 foot 10, he runs like a winger when he makes line breaks.

“He's absolutely devastating in breaking up the opposition mauls; he's a lineout winner.

“The level of his loss is just phenomenal for Munster.”

The news that Snyman has torn his acute cruciate ligament (ACL) and will likely be out for up to nine months, or even longer, is just the latest in a long line of injury woes for the province.

“Even though there was no crowd at the game, you could probably feel the vast majority of people at home… just going ‘the curse has struck again’”, Quinlan said.

“It’s a tough week for [Munster head coach Johann van Graan], because Joey Carbery is as big a loss for a period of time.”

In addition to Carbery and Snyman, Munster remains without the services of Matt Galagher, Dave Kilcoyne and Jean Kleyn, with Tadgh Beirne only being cleared for action this week.

Quinlan suggested that if they were all fit, there is the depth in the Munster squad to be able to challenge for the Champions Cup.

“I feel sorry for Johann van Graan, because I know he's been under pressure and this was a chance to you know really work with a top-quality squad,” he said.

“[The squad had] way more depth in it, and there was a lot of excitement about some of the young players that have come through.”

Quinlan gave players such as Jack O'Sullivan, Gavin Coombs, John Hodnett, Craig Casey, Ben Healy, Jake Flannery, Jack Crowly and Thomas Ahern as examples.

As it is, however, now is the time for these young players to prove themselves.

“It's a big blow for them but it is an opportunity for Thomas Ahern [and], Fineen Wycherley, some of these guys,” Quinlan said.

“We see how successful Leinster has been in the last number of years, it's just that depth in the squad and that level of player they have right through the squad.

“That's what has to happen if you want to win European Cups.”

Snyman could be back in six months

Despite many media reports and medics stating that Snyman could be out for as long as a year, Quinlan thinks that he could be back much sooner than that.

“It's the end of August. If he gets his operation pretty quickly, he could be back within five and a half [to], six months,” Quinlan said.

“So, what they're going to try and do now is make sure… when the new campaign for Europe starts off, come the end of January, they are in contention to try and make the knockout stages.

“It’ll be an incredible boost to have him coming back for knockout stages next April if that was the case.”

Thomas Ahern of Ireland is tackled by George Barton, left, and Tom Roebuck during the Six Nations U20 Rugby Championship match between England and Ireland at Franklin’s Gardens in Northampton, England 21 February 2020; Thomas Ahern of Ireland is tackled by George Barton, left, and Tom Roebuck during the Six Nations U20 Rugby Championship match between England and Ireland at Franklin’s Gardens in Northampton, England. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

For now, though, Munster must not be distracted by the situation and focus on the young players performing.

“They have no choice but to dust themselves down and say, ‘well look, we're one World Cup winner better than we were last year,’ with [Damian] de Allende,” Quinlan said.

“It is an opportunity for the younger players, but it's going to be hard for them to process it and it's been a bit of a distraction.

“They have a very dangerous proposition with Connacht on Sunday - they have to win now.

“Scarlets are playing Dragons away, I know Munster’s points difference is good, but if Scarlets get a bonus-point win and Munster were to lose the game and not get anything, they're not in the semi-finals.”

Munster will take on Connacht on Sunday in an empty Aviva Stadium, with a kick-off of 3pm.

For the full chat check out the PODCAST HERE

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ACL Alan Quinlan Champions Cup Connacht Etzebeth Leinster Munster RG Snyman Snyman