Munster's Jaco Taute happy to be centre of attention again

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

Email:

ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Munster's Jaco Taute happy to be centre of attention again

Munster's fit-again centre Jaco Taute at a squad training session at UL this week

MUNSTER centre Jaco Taute has spoken about the frustration of being sidelined for the past 12 months due to a serious knee injury.

South African-born Taute suffered knee ligament damage against the Cardiff Blues last September, which resulted in him missing the remainder of last season.

After months of being forced to watch his team mates perform in high level fixtures, the 27-year-old is finally in line to make his long-awaited comeback in Munster’s Guinness Pro14 fixture against Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun on Friday night, 7.35pm. Live on eir Sport.

During his extended period on the sidelines, Taute used his spare time to complete his Bachelor in Financial Management Degree from the University of South Africa.

Taute said: “Yeah it’s been very frustrating. I think previously in my career you have one season where it goes very well or I thought it went very well and then, it’s what life does it takes you up high and brings you back down, so for me it was frustrating it always is and especially with a long term injury like that but like I’ve said they kept me busy.

“I’m glad I had my study to do so I could focus on something else, so yes it was frustrating, but it helps when you have been there before, it’s difficult when it is a new experience.

“I finished my degree that I am studying in the University of South Africa so I studied a bit or I tried to and stay off the Playstation. They keep you very busy when you are rehabilitating.

“You are here five days a week and they make sure you are on track but in my spare time I did manage to study. So that went well.

“I hope rugby never finishes for me! But seriously, I would like to get involved in the business world that would be the plan.

“I’m still young and I want to focus on playing rugby so I’m glad that’s behind me, the studies so that kept me busy.”

Munster head coach Johann van Graan handed a debut to newly-arrived out-half Joey Carbery in Saturday’s Guinness Pro14 opener with the Cheetahs at Thomond Park.

The former Leinster out-half received the loudest ovation of the day from home supporters when introduced off the replacements bench  for the final 25 minutes of the game.

Taute has been impressed with Carbery since his arrival from Leinster earlier in the summer.

Taute said: “Yeah, what I’ve seen from him is an excitement. I think he’s trained very well with us.

 “He’s full of energy he brings a different dimension to our attack, he’s a very good playmaker and I felt on Saturday when he came on the game was already won, when he came on but what he showed was a bit of flair and that attacking shape that can put everyone else in space.

“I really like him, he’s a great fella and he’s really excited about what’s to come in his career so yeah can what to see how this story develops.”

Taute’s injury was one of two major injury blows Munster suffered in the midfield last season as Ireland international Chris Farrell sustained a knee injury in February which is still keeping him on the sidelines.

Taute said: “I was in the middle of my rehab when, unfortunately Chris got injured when he was playing really well for Ireland so it was tough for him as well.

“But it’s better in a situation like that, that you can spend time together, vent with each other, work hard in the gym together and just talk sometimes that helps.

“Hopefully for him I was a big help while I was still injured and he’s also on track with his rehab. He also did his ACL, he’s also done that before so he’s in good spirits because he knows what to do.

“He is a big professional, a big strong boy, so he’ll also get through it so it is better to spend some time with someone in the gym.”

Munster travel to Scotstoun to face Glasgow this Friday, with both sides having scored opening weekend wins.

Taute said: “I think there is always a special occasion when these two teams play each other.

“They are a very good team and they’ve showed that in the way they played and the results they’ve achieved so it will be tough. 

“What impressed me was they were nine points down (v Connacht), had a yellow card and still managed to win, like our coach said that’s the sign of a good team.”