Jean Kleyn set for shock Springboks switch

Jean Kleyn set for shock Springboks switch

Jean Kleyn has received a call-up from the Springboks.

Five-cap Ireland international Jean Kleyn has received a call-up from the Springboks as they prepare for next month’s Rugby Championship and September’s World Cup.

Kleyn’s place in the South Africa training squad is subject to clearance from World Rugby, but it could see the Munster second row face Ireland in the World Cup pool stage.

The 29-year-old was selected ahead of Devin Toner for the 2019 World Cup in Japan but hasn’t featured for Ireland since then.

As a three-year stand down period is necessary to return to your birth country under World Rugby rules, the 6’8 bruiser is therefore eligible for Jacques Nienaber’s men.

Kleyn reacts to Springboks call-up.

“When approached I was blown away with this opportunity to be a part of the Springbok squad,” he said. “I could not pass up on it when it was offered.

“Munster has shaped me as a person and player. It’s where I have built a life with my young family but to be offered this opportunity by my home country is an honour I never thought I would receive.

“The last three weeks have been the dream here at Munster. To fight through a brutal season and play week in week out, has been a high point of my career. #

“As a team we continued to believe alongside our coaches, and against the odds succeeded.”

Jean Kleyn future.

The news could have implications for Kleyn’s provincial career with Munster, however.

Munster already have Non-Irish-Qualified second row RG Snyman on their books and there are fears whether the IRFU will sanction the presence of two South African locks at one province.

And, with the lure of the Irish international team no longer a factor, perhaps Kleyn could be persuaded to return to a South African team in the near future.