As much as Munster fans look forward to the return of Francis Saili in the coming weeks, one player who has left a massive impression since joining the province earlier this season is Jaco Taute.
The big South African centre may not be the quickest, or the most subtle, but he does give 100% in every game and Munster fans have come to admire him for it.
Apart from his now renowned effort and commitment, Taute brings structure to Munster’s attacking play, offering himself as a ball carrier who can offload the ball in their midfield. In defence too the three times capped Springbok has made an impression, and didn’t look out of place when he played opposite the bruising Manu Tuilagi.
Is it little wonder then why everyone connected with Munster wants to retain Taute until the end of the season. Even the Western Province, his parent club, are said to be open to the idea of Taute remaining in Ireland.
However the one person who needs to be convinced that the South African won’t interfere with the progression of either Rory Scannell or Sam Arnold is the IRFU’s High Performance Director David Nucifora.
Having vetoed Munster’s approach for Stephen Moore and Ruan Pienaar’s contract extension, the Australian isn’t the most popular figure in Irish rugby.
However in an interview published on the IRFU’s twitter account, Nucifora left open the possibility of Taute remaining at Munster simply stating “We’ll work with Munster, we’ll work with Western Province to see how this one pans out”.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) December 22, 2016
On this week’s edition of the Oval Office Podcast, we speak to Jamie Roberts and look ahead at the festive fixture list.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena