RG Snyman's shock Leinster move continuing to cause controversy in Ireland

RG Snyman's shock Leinster move continuing to cause controversy in Ireland

Springbok star RG Snyman's shock move from Munster to Leinster continues to send shockwaves through Irish rugby, with former Ireland great Donncha O'Callaghan the latest to criticise the signing.

Two-time World Cup winner Snyman was told recently that he would not be offered a new deal at Munster 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.

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 chose to keep Kleyn, who signed a new two-year deal, which left Snyman searching for a new club. He was subsequently linked to Bath and the Stormers but eventually decided on Leinster, which left their arch rivals both shocked and disgruntled.

Speaking on RTE Sport, O'Callaghan admitted the controversial switch was "frustrating" to him.

"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.

"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."

O'Callaghan believes that the current system is weighted too heavily in favour of Leinster, and said he was surprised the Irish Rugby Football Union let the move go through.

"I can't believe that it was signed off (by the IRFU) and how it was allowed to happen. I would question the structure of the funding model.

"Last week, I watched the European Cup and the outstanding second-row, bar maybe Iain Henderson and Tadhg Beirne, was Jack Dunne of Exeter.

"But he's playing in England and we're allowing RG Snyman to go up the road and take up game minutes from Irish players.

"It's a contradiction in what we're trying to do. We say that we're trying to develop a pathway for Irish players and for me I think this blocks it. It's quite frustrating.

"If you look at pure economics, I don't think Munster survive at this level. We've seen it happen in other sports, especially in Ireland, where we end up with a dominant force, and that will be around the affluence, it will be around the economy structure of where the majority of the money is."

O'Callaghan was alongside another former Ireland international, Jamie Heaslip, on the RTE panel and the former Leinster number eight held a different view.

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

"International second-rows like Snyman are in demand. Leinster historically, when they've won (big tournaments), they've had a big, iconic talisman like that, so it fits the bill for who they sign."

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