Munster confirm Jean Kleyn will stay as RG Snyman will leave at end of season

John Hodnett and Liam Coombes also sign contract extensions

Munster have announced contract extensions for Jean Kleyn, John Hodnett and Liam Coombes while also confirming that RG Snyman will leave the province at the end of the season when his contract expires.

Kleyn, part of South Africa’s World Cup squad that retained their Rugby World Cup title when beating New Zealand in the final at the Stade de France last month, and Hodnett have both signed two-year extensions with Coombes has penned a one-year deal.

The 30-year-old Kleyn was a deserved recipient of Munster’s Player of the Year title last season and his decision to remain with the Irish province is a significant coup. He has made 137 appearances for Munster since joining in 2016, including 24 starts last season, more than any other player in the squad, including 19 in succession in playing a pivotal role as Munster memorably claimed a URC title.

Hodnett, who scored the match-winning try against the Stormers in last season’s URC final, is a former Irish underage international and also playing for Emerging Ireland during a three-match trip to South Africa last year.


He started playing rugby as Clonakilty RFC, before moving to UCC and graduated from the Munster academy to play 45 times at senior level since his debut in 2020. The two-year deal is a fitting reward for openside flanker’s consistent excellence.

Fellow West Cork man Liam Coombes started with Skibbereen RFC before playing schools rugby with CBC Cork and then AIL with Limerick club, Garryowen. He can play wing and centre and has scored six tries in 19 Munster appearances – it would have been more but for some injury misfortune – since making his debut in 2018.

Snyman’s departure was widely mooted – he has been linked both with a return to Japanese club rugby from where he joined Munster and also returning to play in South Africa – and will bring to an end a ridiculously unfortunate time at the province that began with an ACL knee injury just seven minutes into his debut against Leinster in 2020.

A couple of setbacks meant that he didn’t return until September 2021, and just three matches in he re-ruptured his ACL in a game against the Scarlets; in his three years at the province, he played just 10 matches, six of which came in Munster’s URC title run.

A two-time World Cup winner with South Africa the popular 28-year-old is currently sidelined after undergoing surgery on a chest/shoulder injury sustained in their final victory over New Zealand at the Stade de France last month.

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan is an Irish Times sports writer