Munster will lose at least one of their foreign centres this summer, with the futures of Francis Saili and Jaco Taute up in the air.
The Irish Independent report that the province are set to let Saili leave at the end of the campaign. However, Munster are hoping that the former’s departure will allow them to step up their efforts to keep the latter.
Saili’s two-year association with Munster is looking ever more likely to come to an end this summer with a number of Premiership sides interested in the former All Black. Taute arrived from Blues in 2015 and while his first campaign in Ireland was a success, this season has been blighted by a serious shoulder injury. The report states that Harlequins lead the chase for the 26-year-old.
Taute’s situation, meanwhile, is that bit more complicated. The South African has been a big hit at Munster since joining on an initial four-month contract from Stormers. The IRFU allowed them to keep Taute for the remainder of the season, but made it clear at the time that their rules regarding non-Irish-qualified players meant one of Taute or Saili would have to be moved on in the summer.
Munster have seemingly made their choice, and Rasse Erasmus will allow Saili to leave in an effort to keep Taute. Taute himself has spoken regularly of his happiness at Munster so there should not be much of a problem there, agreeing a deal with Stormers themselves (with whom he is contracted to the end of the year) could prove to be more of an obstacle.
Though Munster fans would be sorry to see Saili leave, they would understand that keeping Taute should be the greater priority at this time.
Make sure to tune into the latest episode of the 16th Man, where we talk to Gordon D’Arcy, discuss the Lions midfield and talk PRO12.
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