Munster Rugby's Stephen Larkham insists new South African signing will benefit young players

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Munster Rugby's Stephen Larkham insists new South African signing will benefit young players

Munster senior coach Stephen Larkham, right, and head coach Johann van Graan pictured at a training session

MUNSTER senior coach Stephen Larkham has insisted the arrival of South African forward Jason Jenkins at the province this summer will aid the development of the province's young second-rows and back-rows.

Jenkins, who was capped by the Springboks in 2018, will bring the number of South African-born second-rows at the province to three when he arrives from Japanese club Toyota Verblitz.

Munster's stock of second-rows also includes South African-born locks Jean Kleyn and the injured RG Snyman.

Larkham pointed out that Jenkins, who has featured regularly at second-row in his career to date, can be deployed in the back-row as well.

Stephen Larkham said: "We signed Jason (Jenkins) as a back row that can cover second row. We’re losing CJ (Stander) and as soon as that was announced, as soon as CJ announced that to us we tried to get into the market to find someone who could actually replace CJ.

"That’s our thinking behind Jason. He is covering back row first and he’ll offer experience to anyone and everyone in this team in whatever position he plays in or any other position in the back five in that forward pack.

"I can only see that if you’re genuine about winning silverware, which I’ve said we are and you guys obviously think that we are as well, you’ve got to have depth in your squad.

"There is going to be injuries, there is going to be guys called up to the national team and we need to make sure that we have got the depth in all of those positions and I think Jason gives us coverage in all of those positions.

"I think he is going to be immense for these young guys, particularly Thomas Ahern and Fineen (Wycherley), he’s going to be immense for their growth."

Munster Rugby confirmed contract extensions for Wycherley and Ahern on Tuesday.

The province revealed new contracts for senior players Wycherley and Diarmuid Barron and senior contracts for the Academy quartet of Ahern, Jack Daly, Josh Wycherley and Jack Crowley.