Springboks lock RG Snyman put ‘money pathway over reputation’ with shock Leinster move

Ireland and Munster great Donncha O’Callaghan has revealed his ‘frustration’ over RG Snyman’s controversial switch to Leinster.

The two-time Rugby World Cup winner was told recently that he would not be offered a new deal when his contract expired at the end of the season.

That was due to the Thomond Park outfit having to decide between him and fellow Springbok Jean Kleyn as to who they wanted to keep.

IRFU laws

The Irish Rugby Football Union stipulates that a team cannot have two non-Irish qualified players in the same position, which is what happened when Kleyn changed allegiances back to South Africa.

Munster duly chose to keep Kleyn, who signed a new two-year deal, which left Snyman searching for a new club.

The 28-year-old was linked to Bath and the Stormers but eventually decided on Leinster, which left their arch rivals seething.

“I know that there’s a mindset it’s just business but it’s not around Munster. It’s highly frustrating and I know supporters, ex-players are really frustrated by it,” O’Callaghan said on RTE Sport.

“Of course, you understand that players have to do what’s right for their family, but there comes a point (where you put) your career, your money pathway over your reputation.

“RG Snyman won’t be alongside the likes of Shaun Payne or Trevor Halstead when it comes to Munster greats and how he’s remembered for a move like that.”

Other side of the argument

O’Callaghan was alongside Jamie Heaslip on the RTE panel and the former Leinster and Ireland number eight unsurprisingly held a different view.

The signing of Snyman strengthens an already incredible squad, which is filled with centrally contracted Ireland players.

Although Heaslip ‘understands’ the anger of the supporters, he doesn’t believe that it should be directed at the player.

“I can understand Munster fans’ position and being angry on it. The market sets the price for players,” he said.

“International second-rowers are in high demand, such as Snyman. It fits the criteria for who Leinster signs because traditionally, when they’ve won (large tournaments), they’ve had a large, iconic symbol like that.

“They put the restriction in place because they understood the concept of limiting the flow of participants.

“I wouldn’t provide anything about the player. In recent years, the IRFU has modified its approach to include a greater number of centrally contracted players throughout our games. They have reduced that again.

“Due to their success, a large number of the Leinster players are receiving central contracts. To be eligible to receive that, you must earn it.


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