Rugby transfer news – Munster poised to snap up South African lock

Munster look set to bolster their second-row options ahead of the new season by securing the services of 22-year-old South African, Jean Kleyn.


Despite enduring a largely indifferent campaign last term, coach Anthony Foley has resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes to his squad, recruiting only three new players so far in the form of centre Sam Arnold, prop John Andress and lock Darren O’Shea.


In addition to O’Shea, Mark Chisholm, Dave Foley and Donnacha Ryan are among the second-row forwards currently vying for starting berths for the Red Army, but Foley is said to be keen to further increase the province’s strength in depth with the acquisition of Kleyn.


Standing 6’8 (2.02m) and weighing in at over 17 stone (110kg), the Stormers man brings a formidable physical presence to bear, but is also a dynamic runner with ball in hand and a reliable receiver at the line-out.


The University of Stellenbosch graduate came through the ranks with Western Province, but knee and ankle injuries prevented him from making his Super Rugby debut for the Stormers until 2014.


He subsequently made 17 appearances, but found his progress stymied by a broken arm and struggled to maintain his place in the run-on side due to the presence of current Springboks regulars Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph Du Toit, along with the highly-rated JD Schickerling.


Munster’s newly-appointed Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, is thought to have played a key role in luring his fellow-countryman to Thomond Park where he is reportedly set to sign a three-year deal.


And having not represented South Africa at any level, the rangy forward could potentially follow in the footsteps of Richardt Strauss, CJ Stander and Quinn Roux and qualify to play for Ireland on a residency basis further down the track.


Kleyn joins a host of South African players set to leave Super Rugby and try their luck overseas this year, including his fellow-Stormers Schalk Burger and Nic Groom who have signed for Saracens and Northampton respectively.


His injury track record may be a slight cause for concern as far as Munster supporters are concerned, but if he can stay fit and continue his development, the man from Krugersdorp could prove to be a very handy pick-up indeed.


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