Damian de Allende is one of two Rugby World Cup-winners brought on board by Munster in their bid to compete for silverware in the latter stages of the Pro 14 season. .
The former Stormers centre signed for the Irish club in July and was joined by Springbok teammate RG Snyman just days later.
Why Damian de Allende joined Munster
The 28-year-old is only two matches into his Munster career but has already observed a desire to succeed within the club. He says he identifies with the team’s ambition to win tournaments and championships.
“I signed for Munster because I feel they have the credentials, the coaching staff and the heart,” he said.
“From what I’ve watched on television, and obviously I have only played two games here, but I feel they have that team environment that they actually want to achieve, where you could go to another squad, and you will have all the names and stars, but they aren’t working for that success.
“I feel just playing in these two games there is a real want and desire to win the semi-finals and finals, and not just once or twice, but consistently. And not just in Pro14, but in the Champions Cup as well. Friday night is going to be a very tough encounter, but hopefully, we will pitch up.”
Damian de Allende
A home away from home
Apart from Snyman, there is another fellow South African within the Munster camp in Johann van Graan, who is currently the club’s head coach.
They face Leinster in Friday’s Pro14 semifinal, a rivalry De Allende says reminds him of the famous “north vs south” derby from back home.
“I think it is quite personal, for me it is quite similar to when I played for the Stormers against the Bulls. It is like a north-south derby. It is personal and physical,” he said.
“It gets quite intense on the field, even though you have a massive amount of respect for each other. I’m not Irish, but those Irish guys are competing for spots to play for Ireland, but there is still that mutual respect for each other on and off the pitch.
“I probably need to play a few more, but I certainly do understand the way they see it and it is very encouraging to help them beat Leinster as well.”
Damian de Allende
Friday’s fixture kicks off at 20:35 (SAST).