Springboks Head Coach Reacts To Munster Fir Pit Accident That Injured Two Of His Players

Accidents happen.

Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber has defended the Munster players involved in a bizarre fire pit accident over the weekend that left two of his players with injuries.

Centre Damian de Allende and lock RG Snyman suffered “substantial burns” to their legs, hands and face and will require specialist treatment, casting doubt over their involvement against the British and Lions next month.

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But Nienaber is confident both players will be available for the three-Test series against the Lions which begins on July 24th and their fixtures against Georgia before that.

“I’ve spoken to both of them and they are fine, so that is the most important thing and their families are fine,” Nienaber said.

“Will they be able to play against Georgia? Currently, as I’m sitting here, if everything goes according to plan, yes I think they would.

“The challenge is if they get an infection or if for instance there’s some other medical reason they can’t fly to us as soon as possible then obviously it makes it a little more challenging. I think in terms of that we will have to be adaptable.”

As for the incident itself, Nienaber referenced his own time in Ireland as Munster’s defence coach in sharing some sympathy for the players and what went down with someone pouring petrol on the fire pit causing the accident.

“Accidents happen and any accident, like a car accident, it’s not ideal but it’s not something we can control,” Nienaber added.

“For me from being in Ireland before, I actually understand because it rains a little bit more in Ireland than it does in South Africa.

“When I was there if you wanted to use wood fire and braai on a wood fire or sit in front of a wood fire like we do in South Africa – if you miss home a little bit – I did the same, I’d take a little bit of petrol and throw it on top of the wood and light it otherwise the wood is wet so you can’t get it burning.

“I guess I did it the same way everybody does it like that over there and accidents happen. They explained it to me and it makes perfect sense. You put fire on and the fire just ran up into the canister and the canister fell and the petrol spilt over their legs.

“Of course it’s not ideal. As a head coach, you’d want them to be fine and training, but now we have to make plans to get them into the mix as soon as possible while taking care of their wellbeing first and foremost.”