RG Snyman to join Leinster after contract with Munster ends

South African Rugby World Cup-winning lock will make the switch across Irish provinces

In a remarkable development, Leinster have lined up Munster’s double Rugby World Cup-winning lock RG Snyman as a new signing for next season. The game-changing 28-year-old Springbok, whose contribution as an impact replacement to South Africa’s last two World Cup wins was sizeable, is set to join Leo Cullen’s side next season.

Three weeks ago Munster confirmed that while his fellow World Cup-winning secondrower Jean Kleyn had signed a new two-year deal, Snyman would be departing the province “for a new playing opportunity on completion of his contract at the end of the season” and The Irish Times understands that this opportunity has arisen at Leinster as a replacement for Jason Jenkins.

Munster’s rationale was understandable, all the more so after Jean Kleyn was snaffled by Rassie Erasmus after qualifying for his native country following an amendment to World Rugby’s eligibility laws before the World Cup.

The 30-year-old Kleyn, who won five caps for Ireland under Joe Schmidt but never featured in the last World Cup cycle, has played 137 times for Munster over eight seasons.


Snyman has been restricted to just 10 appearances (six off the bench) in his four seasons to date with Munster as a consequence of two long-terms ACL injuries, although he remained a hugely popular figure within the organisation and played a significant role in their charge to the URC title when making six appearances.

He again made an important contribution as South Africa retained their title as world champions in France by dint of winning three knock-out matches in a row by a solitary point apiece. The 6′ 9″, 131kg lock played in six of their seven World Cup games, including the pool defeat by Ireland and the quarter-final, semi-final and final, and his tally of minutes amounted to 224.

Leinster evidently took note of Snyman’s explosive carrying game, octopus-like arms and offloading game, which made a particularly telling impact for the Springboks in the pool game against Ireland in the Stade de France.

Snyman is sidelined after undergoing surgery on a chest/shoulder injury, which demonstrates the gamble Leinster are taking, but despite the emergence of Joe McCarthy, they clearly feel that the two-time World Cup winner can make a contribution, not least when McCarthy, James Ryan and Ryan Baird are on international duty, as well as his proven worth as an impact player in the big games.

Leinster have been down this road before, signing Jenkins after his one, injury-plagued season with Munster in the 2021-22 campaign, when he was restricted to 10 appearances (eight off the bench).

The 28-year-old made his 25th appearance for Leinster as a replacement in last week’s Investec Champions Cup win in La Rochelle, as he did in last season’s final. But it is understood that Jenkins is moving on at the end of the season and Leinster have identified Snyman as his replacement.

  • Sign up for push alerts and have the best news, analysis and comment delivered directly to your phone
  • Find The Irish Times on WhatsApp and stay up to date
  • Our In The News podcast is now published daily – Find the latest episode here
Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley is Rugby Correspondent of The Irish Times