Gerbrandt Grobler is set to make his senior debut for Munster this weekend, following weeks of controversy surrounding the South African second-row.
The former Racing lock has previously served a two-year doping ban, with many members of the media questioning Munster and the IRFU’s decision to sign him because of it.
With his debut now imminent, Munster and the IRFU have reiterated that they are standing behind their man.
“In relation to Gerbrandt Grobler’s selection for the province, Munster Rugby and the IRFU wish to reiterate that Gerbrandt, as a member of the Munster squad and living by our values, will continue to be considered for selection during his time with the province, once deemed fit.” a statement read.
While some hold the view that rugby should provide no road-back for those that have taken a banned substance in the past, it would not be within the spirit and values of rugby to turn its back on every person that ever made a bad decision, having made restitution.
Irish Rugby is recognised as operating one of the most stringent testing environments of any rugby nation with a zero tolerance approach to doping in the sport. The province and Irish Rugby are fully supportive of all WADA and World Rugby anti-doping policies.
Gerbrandt Grobler served a two-year ban from rugby and returned to play for Racing 92 in November 2016 as per the process set out by World Rugby.