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Munster duo De Allende and Snyman’s Bok hopes may be on ice following fire pit fiasco

RG Snyman (left) and Damian de Allende (right) suffered burns following a 'fire pit' incident. (Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz) / Damian de Allende. (Photo: Craig Mercer / MB Media / Getty Images)
By Craig Ray
09 Jun 2021 0

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber will have an anxious wait to ascertain whether centre Damian de Allende and lock RG Snyman will be fit enough to play after sustaining burns in a ‘fire pit accident’ at the weekend.

Munster assistant coach Stephen Larkham has raised doubts that World Cup winners Damian de Allende and RG Snyman will be fit enough to face the British & Irish Lions after sustaining burns at the weekend.

De Allende described burn injuries he suffered as “wasn’t as bad” as they could have been, which doesn’t mean that they aren’t significant.

De Allende, fellow World Cup winner RG Snyman and Ireland internationals CJ Stander and Mike Haley all suffered burns from flaming petrol in the early hours of Sunday morning. The incident was believed to have occurred at a stag party for another Munster player.

All four have been ruled out of Munster’s PRO14 Rainbow Cup game against Zebre this weekend, but the long-term damage could be a lot worse than feared. Snyman is currently undergoing rehab for a knee injury while De Allende is a vital player in the Bok set-up.

“It’s too early to say (whether they will recover in time to face the Lions) at this stage from my perspective. They’ve seen the specialist and will see the specialist again on Friday,” Larkham told the media.

“We’ll be handing them over to the Springboks at some stage over the next month or so depending on how their rehab is going, particularly for RG where he’s in a rehab programme anyway.

“We want to make sure he’s at a sufficient level before we send him over there to the Springboks but basically, where we’re sitting right now, their next port of call is going to be with the Springboks. We’ll make a decision as to when they get to move onto the Springboks.”

Larkham said the coaches had been informed about the circumstances around the incident, which still remain sketchy.

De Allende spoke to Supersport.com on Tuesday and gave some details, although it was not a forensic account of what happened.

“We were just sitting around the fire and one of the boys threw a bit of petrol over the fire and then it caught his hand and he just tried to put it down on the floor and then the whole thing caught alight and exploded,” De Allende said.

“They thought it was a lot worse when we went into hospital on Saturday night, but when we saw the specialist on Sunday he said it wasn’t as bad as they got told,” De Allende said. “We should be okay in a few weeks, hopefully.”

Although the Munster management have rallied around the quartet, it was clear that Larkham was less than impressed with the players’ irresponsibility, but also relieved that they were not critically injured.

“It’s been tough and some of the boys are still struggling but thankfully they’re not in a lot of pain. But there is some significant damage there and it will take a while,” Larkham said.

“There’s a lot of relief at the moment. We’ve heard most of the story and it was fairly scary for the boys. It could have been a lot worse so there’s a lot of relief amongst the team at the moment.

“From the coaches’ perspective, it was just an accident. They’re all grown men, responsible men and it just got away from them. We’re just lucky it hasn’t been worse.

“It’s a good lesson for them and it will be a good lesson for anyone who reads up on the story. You’ve got to respect things around a fire pit. They’re still reeling at the moment but they’ll bounce back soon enough.” DM

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