RG Snyman on long-awaited Springbok return: It's a privilege to be back

RG Snyman on long-awaited Springbok return: It's a privilege to be back

RG Snyman admits it's been a long and bumpy road back to the Springbok team, but it only makes him more grateful to finally be representing his country again.

Snyman's trials and tribulations over the past three years have been well-documented - the devastating back-to-back ACL injuries, the freak accident in Ireland that resulted in serious burns to his body - but the 28-year-old lock was finally able to put all that adversity behind him this year and rejoin the Springbok team he last represented at the World Cup final against England back in 2019.

Barely back in the saddle, Snyman has already shown he still has a knack for winning trophies, having helped Munster lift the United Rugby Championship trophy (and break Stormers hearts in the process) last month.

And, having once again been named in the Springbok squad just in time for another massive season of rugby that includes another World Cup tilt, Snyman couldn't be happier - though it's hard to forget just what a long road it has been.

"It was a very tough thing for me, especially not playing for the Springboks," Snyman told reporters at a Bok media briefing in Pretoria last week.

"It was the thing that drove me to get myself better, to get back to being on the field and to get myself back to a place where I can be back here."

"It is lekker to be back," he added. "It is a privilege to be with the Boks and that is something you only realise when you are not here. Being here must not be taken lightly."

While Snyman has been absent from the Springbok team for nearly four years, the towering lock has the luxury of being able to rejoin the same core of players and coaches with whom he captured the World Cup trophy four years ago - a massive advantage for both him and the Boks.

"It is easier to come back into a system... and you have worked with the guys before and you know them. They got me up to speed very quickly and that is the biggest difference being away so long - the connection with the other guys," he said.

"The most important thing in this squad is, we all understand our roles. We work towards that, and we work well together to strengthen each other.

"The competition between us is great because it brings the best out of us. That will only allow us to be better.

"It isn't easy to be here but one of the advantages is knowing what it takes to get here. I know that if I work hard enough, and I play well enough, I will get the opportunities."

Snyman will be vying for a starting spot in the Springbok team alongside fellow powerhouses Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Marvin Orie, RG Snyman and Jean Kleyn - but its likely most of them will have a major part to play over the course of the upcoming season.