MUNSTER are hopeful of getting the green light to extend centre Jaco Taute’s stay at the province until the end of the season.
South African centre Taute has made a major impact since joining Munster on a short-term loan deal from the Stormers in September as cover for the injured Francis Saili and Sam Arnold. The 25-year-old, who won three caps for the Springboks, has played 11 times for Munster since his arrival, scoring five tries since his debut in mid-October.
Taute’s current four-month loan deal is due to end on December 31 when Guinness PRO12 table toppers Munster face Connacht at the Sportsground, 5.30pm.
Munster need the assent of IRFU performance director David Nucifora to make Taute’s signing to the end of the season an exception to the governing body’s player succession policy which does not sanction more than one non-Irish qualified player in any position across the Leinster, Munster and Ulster panels.
However, speaking following Munster’s 29-17 bonus point win over Leinster at Thomond Park on St Stephen’s Day, the province’s Director of Rugby suggested extending Taute’s stay at Munster for a further six months was a matter of ‘crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s’.
Erasmus said: “It’s not signed off but obviously as David (Nucifora) mentioned last week we’re discussing it with both David and Western Province, or the Stormers, and on our side at Munster.
“We’ve officially requested that and everybody knows we’ve lost Alex Wootton long-term, we’ve lost Bill Johnston long-term and now Sweets (Darren Sweetnam) tonight is a little bit of a doubt so, you know, Jaco played more than 90 games at fullback at first-class level and he’s covering places for us there.
“It’s not signed and sealed but we have to make sure, how do you say it, we cross the Ts and dot the Is before we can officially say he’s with us but, yes, we’re discussing that with David.”