RG Snyman admits why he chose Munster and what he’s looking forward to the most

RG Snyman admitted Johaan van Graan played a huge part in his decision to join Munster this year.

Snyman, who knows the South African coach since his high school days, said he felt Munster was the best destination for him because van Graan is a top quality coach.

“One of the biggest reasons I came here was Johann van Graan. I’ve worked with him in the past and I know the quality of coach he is and that’s why I thought it was the best decision to come to Munster.”

RG Snyman
Guinness PRO14, Irish Independent Park, Cork 14/2/2020 Munster vs Isuzu Southern Kings Munster Head Coach Johann van Graan before the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

The South African lock said he feels he can really improve his game under van Graan, after the Munster head coach said Snyman is not yet the ‘finished article’ and still has work to do.

“I agree with him and that’s the biggest reason I came here. I still think I need some work done on the smaller details from a technical side. Working under him is great for that because I think he’s technical and his off-field work is very in-detail.”

RG Snyman

However, van Graan isn’t the only South African coach who impacted Snyman’s decision to move to Munster.

He spoke to former Munster head coach Rassie Erasmus about the move and Erasmus’ positivity about the club “reassured” Snyman that he was making the right decision.

2019 Rugby World Cup Final, International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan 2/11/2019 England vs South Africa South Africa’s RG Snyman celebrates with Rassie Erasmus after the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Among Munster’s growing South African contingent is another new signing, Damian de Allende.

Snyman said that even though he didn’t know de Allende would be joining him at Munster when he signed, he was happy to have a familiar face with him at the club.

“It’s very nice to have him over here as well. The time that I signed, I didn’t know he was coming as well. We only found out literally that night that we were coming over together. I’m really happy that it’s him specifically as well because he’s a great guy. He’s a hardworking player as well and I’m looking forward to seeing some good collisions from him.”

RG Snyman
Damian de Allende | RG Snyman

Speaking about his ambitions with the club, Snyman said he would love to win silverware this season but the team’s main aim is getting back out onto the pitch and playing rugby.

“I think the main thing for us is just getting back to rugby at the moment. Once we hit that field, just performing at our best; I think we will just focus one game at a time and if we end up winning, it’ll be a bonus,” he said.

The World Cup winner wasn’t shy about admitting the challenges he may face during his time in Ireland, the weather being a big one.

“I think the weather will play a big part in the games. The last few weeks in training, it’s not been easy to hold on to the ball as it would be in South Africa or even Japan. So I have to adapt to it a little bit but it’s ok, I think I can work around it.”

RG Snyman
Guinness PRO14, Thomond Park, Limerick 28/12/2019 Munster vs Leinster Leinster’s James Lowe Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

Finally, Snyman said he is looking forward to the increased physicality of the game in the Northern Hemisphere: “I think the rugby up here in the Northern Hemisphere is a bit more physical so I’m looking forward to that. Broadening my game a bit set-piece-wise, that’s something I’m looking forward to as well.”

Munster return to action with a trip to the Aviva Stadium to face unbeaten Leinster in the Guinness Pro14 on 22 August.

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