Ireland great: ‘RG Snyman is not fit enough… he’s not able to sustain it for 80 minutes’

Colin Newboult
Springboks lock RG Snyman alongside ex-Ireland forward Alan Quinlan.

Springboks lock RG Snyman alongside ex-Ireland forward Alan Quinlan.

Former Ireland forward Alan Quinlan doesn’t believe that double Rugby World Cup winner RG Snyman is in good enough condition to last a full 80 minutes.

The 29-year-old has struggled with injuries over the past few years, suffering two ACL ruptures after joining Munster in 2020.

Snyman also required grafts on his knee after sustaining burns following a freak firepit accident in June 2021.

There for the big games

The second-row has been in the wars over recent seasons, but he did manage to play a role in the Boks’ World Cup successes, as well as the Irish province’s run to the United Rugby Championship title in 2023.

However, he was surprisingly left on the bench for last weekend’s semi-final against Glasgow Warriors and failed to make an impact in the second half as Graham Rowntree’s men succumbed 17-10 at Thomond Park.

Quinlan was asked why Rowntree decided to put the Springboks lock among the replacements and his response was rather forthright.

“He’s not fit enough,” he told Off The Ball, before the Ireland and Munster great added context to his view by stating: “That’s not a big criticism of RG Snyman, he’s been out for so long.

“I don’t want to meet RG Snyman next year when he’s playing for Leinster and he’s finger wagging back at me, but he’s not that type of go, go, go all the time player.

“He comes up with unbelievably magical and big moments, and he’s exceptional at that.”

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Impact player

Snyman has generally been seen as an impact option by South Africa, with the lock starting just one Test for the national team since 2019.

His skills suit the game in the second period, where it might start to open up, and that was shown in the Rugby World Cup semi-final as the gifted second-row proved to be a vital cog in their 16-15 triumph over England.

However, it will be interesting to see if his role changes in this new World Cup cycle as Rassie Erasmus begins his preparation for the global tournament in Australia.

If fit, the 29-year-old will almost certainly be involved against Ireland, but it remains to be seen whether it is as a starter or on the bench.

With the starting lock duo from the World Cup final both getting towards their mid-30s, and Erasmus openly casting doubt on whether Eben Etzebeth can make it to 2027, now might be the time for Snyman to step up.

But Quinlan has questioned whether Snyman can “sustain” the requisite intensity for a whole match after being “managed” by Munster in the URC.

“Of course he’s capable of playing 80 minutes, but I think they (Munster) were trying to manage him and I got it, I understood it,” he added.

“A lot of people were saying: ‘Why didn’t he start?’ If he starts and he’s waning a little bit at 50 minutes then is it better to bring him off? That’s always the risk you take.

“It sounds crazy to say he’s not fit, he’s fit, but he’s not able to sustain it for 80 minutes.”

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