Ronan O’Gara On Who’s The More Important Signing For Munster – Snyman Or De Allende?

Springboks.

Munster get their season back up and running this weekend with a huge inter-provincial fixture with rivals Leinster at the Aviva Stadium in a game that has everyone talking.

Leinster have once again decided to promote within, not making any signing and instead utilising their academy – a strategy that has proved massively successful for them in recent years. But it’s a different story at Munster.

They’ve poached prop Roman Salanoa from Leinster and fullback Matt Gallagher from soon to be relegated Saracens. And there’s the small matter of RG Snyman and Damian de Allende linking up with the province following their World Cup win with the Springboks last year.

Two very different players in two very different players but two phenomenal signings nonetheless.

But who’s the more important signing? Speaking on the Up and Under Podcast, Munster legend Ronan O’Gara reckons both players will bring something different to Johann van Graan’s side and could prove to be a massive boost for the senior players in the squad.

“I think it’s the combination that works brilliantly,” O’Gara said on Episode 1 of the Up and Under Podcast.

“I think presence is huge at the top level of sport, a lot of guys maybe who don’t play wouldn’t really understand that but sometimes you don’t have to say anything you just know by looking into another guy’s eyes that this guys isn’t going to let me down.

“They’ve got an enforcer up front (Snyman) and they’ve got De Allende who was unbelievably impressive in a World Cup.

“I think at Munster too, a world-class 12 can add huge amounts to them.

“I think they’re really, really lucky in that regard but it will also give a lot of confidence to the senior players at Munster, the fact that they’ve probably been driving it, probably a consistent message for a period of time.

“It’s also good as a player when you get a really good player in that might have a different outlook on things, they might give a different flavour to how a week is run, or a team meeting is run and that might the kind of boost or sharing of the responsibility or mantle that a lot of the CJ’s, Peter or Conor and Earlsy need in Munster.

“It kind of becomes not the four of them that are carrying everything, that they have World Cup winners that are able to get their point across and that can maybe let them at different stages throughout the season, or a game – concentrate on their own game and maybe that might be the 5% that they need to have a better game on a Saturday.”

You can listen to O’Gara’s full chat on this week’s episode of the Up & Under Podcast as looks at some of the best 12s he has played alongside over the years and previews this weekend’s game.

It’s available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Overcast and more.