Graham Rowntree has explained the decision to play the influential RG Snyman off the bench in Saturday’s Vodacom United Rugby Championship final. DYLAN JACK reports.

Snyman has returned from a concussion that forced him to miss the surprise semi-final victory over Leinster in Dublin.

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However, instead of starting in the No 5 jersey, as he did in the historic victory over the DHL Stormers in Cape Town a few week’s ago, Snyman will play from the bench on Saturday.

Munster coach Rowntree has fielded Ireland and British & Irish Lions international Tadhg Beirne next to former Stormer Jean Kleyn in the second row.

“Both are world-class players,” said Rowntree, when asked about the decision during a press conference on Friday.

“We just felt Tahdg deserves that start, especially after the last game. RG will bring energy off the bench. Not many people can call an RG Snyman off the bench. Bomb squad. That’s why we made those two selections.”

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Rowntree was straightforward with his answer when asked if winning the final would be a bonus, given what Munster have already achieved after a difficult start to the season.

“It’s the next game. We’ve got here, beat Glasgow and Leinster away. We deserve to be here. We want to win this game.”

Munster captain Peter O’Mahony said he is confident he and his teammates will be able to lift themselves for one last effort, as they look to capture their first piece of major silverware in 12 years.

“We’ve come a long way. It’s a difficult thing to do, to go and beat Leinster away, with the quality that they have, at the Aviva Stadium. Not many teams have succeeded there. To go behind, with not very long left, the manner we navigated our way back up the pitch and got the score, it gives a huge amount of confidence to everyone.

“At the same time, Graham has told us this, it can’t be our final. It just can be. Tomorrow has to be. We have to play the occasion tomorrow like we did against Leinster and Glasgow before that. We have to play our game. We can’t be happy with that performance, we have to grow our game and I think we’ve done that over the last couple of weeks.”

Photo: Dan Sheridan/INPHO/Shutterstock

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