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Munster sign 6′ 8” South African second-row

THERE is certainly an air of optimism amongst local Munster rugby fans with the announcement that the province has agreed terms with a South African second-row who appears to have all the credentials to fill the void left by the retirement of Paul O’Connell.
There was recent speculation that new coach Johann Erasmus and his fellow SA native, defence coach Jacques Nienaber, would not arrive on these shores without one or two additions to the squad and today’s news that Stormers lock Jean Kleyn (pictured) is to sign a three-year contract is warmly welcomed.
The loss of O’Callaghan, O’Connell and O’Driscoll has made a dent in the Reds’ second-row formation in recent seasons and while the addition of Mark Chisholm provided extra experience to that key area of the pack, there was room for more mobility.
22 year-old Kleyn has made 17 appearances with the Stormers and represented Western Province on 22 occasions. From 2012, the South African native steadily progressed through the Western Province ranks establishing himself as a key player, before going on to secure regular game-time with Super Rugby side, the Stormers, from 2014.
The 6′ 8″ second row will join the province in August subject to being granted a valid work permit.
Commenting on the news, Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus said that Jean was a hugely exciting prospect and a great addition to the province.
“I’ve seen his development first hand and with Jacques’ extensive knowledge of him we are all up to speed on how Jean can contribute to the squad. A naturally athletic player, we believe he will add further value to the pack and we look forward to welcoming him to Munster.”
Stats: Name, Jean Kleyn; position, Lock; date of birth, 26/08/93; born: Linden; height, 6′ 8″; weight, 118kg.

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