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Player Profiles | Munster Rugby’s New Signings

18th June 2020 By The Editor

Damian de Allende is one of nine new additions.

Damian de Allende is one of nine new additions. Inpho

Nine players will join the Munster senior squad next week with the team returning to training in small groups at the High Performance Centre in Limerick on Monday.

Munster players and high performance staff underwent testing yesterday, see full details here.

Video | Munster Rugby Testing Commences

Five of the players are graduates of the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy with four newcomers joining the club.

South African Rugby World Cup winners Damian de Allende and RG Snyman have both already completed their respective two-week self-isolation period and are settling into life in Limerick.

Roman Salanoa joins from Leinster and moved to the province in recent weeks with Matt Gallagher, an addition from Saracens, currently completing his two-week self-isolation period.

The average age of the nine new additions is less than 23, see their player profiles below.

Diarmuid Barron – Hooker

Academy man Diarmuid Barron.

Hooker Diarmuid Barron.

21-year-old Cashel native Diarmuid Barron has been promoted to the senior squad after two years in the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy.

A product of Cashel RFC and Rockwell College, Barron made seven Guinness PRO14 appearances as an Academy player with his debut coming away to Cardiff Blues in September 2018.

The hooker is a former Ireland U20 international and plays his All Ireland League rugby with Garryowen.

Liam Coombes – Winger

Liam Coombs in PRO14 action against Ulster.

23-year-old Liam Coombes hails from Skibbereen and has been promoted to the senior squad after three years in the Academy.

The winger made an impressive try-scoring debut against Cheetahs in Bloemfontein in November 2018 and has made four appearances at senior level.

Liam is a product of Skibbereen RFC and CBC and plays his All Ireland League rugby with Garryowen. He joins first cousin Gavin Coombes in the senior squad.

Damian de Allende – Centre

Damian de Allende has 47 international caps.

28-year-old Damian de Allende joins Munster from the Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan after playing a leading role in South Africa’s 2019 World Cup winning campaign.

Starting six of his seven appearances at the 2019 World Cup, he scored important tries in the knock-out wins over Japan and Wales. His attacking form was matched by a physical defensive display as he made his presence felt at every stage with a huge work rate from midfield.

From Cape Town, he has made 47 appearances for the Springboks, scoring six tries. He previously lined out for the Stormers and was voted South African Super Rugby Player of the Year in 2015.

Matt Gallagher – Full-back/Wing

Matt Gallagher won the Junior World Championship with the England U20s in 2016.

23-year-old full-back/wing Matt Gallagher joins Munster from Saracens having scored nine tries in 47 appearances for the club.

A former Saracens Academy Player of the Year, he was part of the England U20s Junior World Championship winning side in 2016.

Hailing from London, Matt is Irish qualified as his paternal grandmother and grandfather are from Limerick and Derry respectively. In December he lined out against the province in the round three Champions Cup encounter at Thomond Park.

Keynan Knox – Prop

Keynan Knox celebrates winning a scrum penalty against Connacht in the Guinness PRO14.

21-year-old Keynan Knox has been promoted to the senior squad having joined the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy in 2018.

The South African native made eight senior appearances during his time in the Academy and has also featured for Young Munster in the All Ireland League.

Alex McHenry – Centre

Alex McHenry in action for Munster A against Leinster A.

22-year-old Alex McHenry progresses to the senior squad after three years in the Academy.

A product of CBC and Cork Constitution, the centre made his Guinness PRO14 debut away to Benetton last April and has scored four tries in 14 Munster A appearances in the Celtic Cup and British & Irish Cup.

Jack O’Sullivan – Back-row forward

Jack O’Sullivan lining our for Munster against the Scarlets in February.

In advancing from his final year of the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy, Jack O’Sullivan is being promoted to the senior ranks after signing a three-year contract.

The back row is first cousin to brothers Rory and Niall Scannell. Having missed the majority of the 2018/19 season through injury, the 21-year-old showed a glimpse of what’s to come when he marked his first senior appearance with a fantastic solo try against London Irish in pre-season.

He has since made seven competitive appearances in red, including his Champions Cup debut against Ospreys in January.

Roman Salanoa – Prop

Roman Salanoa

22-year-old Hawaiian Roman Salanoa represented the USA U20s as an 18-year-old in 2016 and made the move to Dublin in 2017.

He progressed into the Leinster Academy in 2018, and the 22-year-old has made three Guinness PRO14 appearances for the province this season before making the move to Munster.

RG Snyman – Lock

RG Snyman in action at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

RG Snyman in action at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

25-year-old RG Snyman featured in every game of South Africa’s successful World Cup campaign, producing a man of the match performance against Canada.

The imposing lock is highly regarded for his athleticism, ball handling skills and towering presence in the lineout.

A product of the Bulls, he has made 23 appearances for South Africa and makes the move from Japanese club Honda Heat.


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