Munster insist their game plan won’t have to change following the loss of RG Snyman for another season.
Having returned to fitness and looked impressive off the bench in recent weeks after over a year out, the World Cup winning Springbok was seen as a game-changer for the Reds in terms of his physicality, ball-carrying ability and game management.
He re-ruptured his ACL in Sunday’s impressive victory at the Scarlets, but while the province’s defence coach JP Ferreira describes the 26-year-old as a “giant” within the set-up, he claims that doesn’t alter the approach of Johann van Graan and his backroom team.
“No, it doesn’t,” Ferreira stated. “We as coaches have put out a plan with the squad following that plan.
“Obviously with his freakishness, his size, his grunt, that adds to it, but the way we play, the way we do things, how we want to play, how we want to defend – nothing changes.
“He just fits right in and whoever takes that jersey fits right in under that one plan.”
Snyman will stay in Ireland to undergo another long rehab after his second ACL surgery.
Snyman, 26, broke down again just nine minutes into his third substitute appearance since making his comeback but Ferreira believes he will remain in Limerick on the road to recovery.
“He will stay here and rehab over here and get everything sorted,” he said. “I don’t think he will go home now – there is a lot at home, family and that, but medically, we will look after him.
“He’s feeling like he needs to be involved and he doesn’t want to go home and sit around waiting for his next rehab session.
“He will be more on board with us and that will keep him fresh and keep him up-to-date with things we are changing and evolving.”
Jean Kleyn said that while Synman has been overwhelmed by the support he has received from his colleagues and supporters, he is “in a dark place” after his latest big set-back.
But Kleyn believes his compatriot deserves another contract when his current one expires next summer, even though he has played less than an hour in the red jersey.
“He has really contributed to the team in a really big way, from a rugby standpoint, in terms of knowledge and in a cultural standpoint in terms of his contribution to the squad and how we interact with each other,” said Synman’s fellow second row.
Ferreira agreed. “He’s a giant around the squad and yes, the lads really look up to him,” he remarked.
“He brings a great energy and vibe around him. Guys are gutted.
“We’ve acknowledged that when we came into training but that’s put aside now. We’re just carrying on with what we have to do. We’re right behind him, everyone in Munster is around him to get him sorted again.
“But we know what we have to do and he knows what he has to do. Then obviously the squad needs to perform whenever we play.
“He will sort himself out mentally and obviously the medics will look after him.”
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