Damian de Allende settling into life in Limerick

By Simon Lewis

Damian de Allende. Photo by Ezra Shaw - World Rugby via Getty Images
Damian de Allende. Photo by Ezra Shaw - World Rugby via Getty Images

Munster Rugby have confirmed that new signings Damian de Allende, RG Snyman, Matt Gallagher, and Roman Salanoa will join the province on July 1.

On a day that rising stars Liam Coombes, Keynan Knox, Alex McHenry, and Jack O’Sullivan were promoted from the Academy to the senior squad, Munster also revealed that World Cup-winning South Africa centre De Allende had already arrived in Ireland from Japan and had completed his 14-day self-isolation period.

“RG Snyman and Damian de Allende will definitely join the Munster squad in the summer and they will officially join Munster Rugby from July 1 regardless of what happens with Covid-19,” head coach Johann van Graan said on the official Munster website. 

“Really looking forward to see both of them play for Munster.” 

De Allende’s fellow Springbok Snyman, currently seeing out his contract in Japan, and Irish-qualified Gallagher, who will join from Saracens, will also have to comply with Irish Government measures as incoming passengers to the country.

That includes completing a public health passenger locator form before self-isolating for two weeks. Lock Snyman is due to arrive at the end of this month with full-back Gallagher expected in June.

“After arriving from Japan earlier this month, Damian has followed all measures and completed his self-isolation period,” Munster Rugby said. 

“The World Cup-winning centre will use the upcoming weeks to finalise living arrangements and settle into his new life in Limerick ahead of the 2020-21 season.” 

Of their likely availability for any conclusion to the 19-20 season, which could only start on August 10 at the very earliest when Phase 5 of the Government’s Roadmap out of lockdown would begin, Van Graan said: “It’s still too early to determine whether Matt Gallagher, RG Snyman and Damian de Allende will be eligible to play in the closing stages of the current PRO14 season, if that goes ahead.

“What I can confirm is that the new season is around the corner and we can’t wait to see them in the red of Munster.”

Munster on Monday also confirmed Leinster tighthead prop Salanoa, as their fourth signing for 20-21.

Former Munster No.8 Robin Copeland is set to join French second division club Angouléme having seen out his contract with Connacht, whom he joined in 2018 and represented 18 times. Capped once by Ireland in 2014, Copeland, 32, made 71 appearances for Munster in his four seasons in red having joined from Cardiff Blues.

Copeland, in a social media post, thanked Connacht for “great memories and some fantastic people” and wrote: “My next stop is a place I’ve always wanted to play, France. With the opportunity to explore French rugby and French culture it’s an opportunity I can’t pass up.”

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