Munster Lock Jean Kleyn Wants To Play For Ireland & Here’s When He’s Eligible
South African-born Munster lock is the latest foreign player to declare his ambitions to represent Ireland. The likes of CJ Stander, Bundee Aki and Jared Payne have all successfully taken advantage of the residency rule to become full-fledged Ireland internationals.
The towering South African lock moved to Ireland from the Stormers under a year-and-a-half ago, and has become an integral member of Munster’s starting line-up.
Rassie Erasmus initially brought Kleyn to Munster, and despite the fact that he’s now in control of the Springboks, Kleyn has admitted he would answer a call-up by Joe Schmidt when he becomes eligible in September 2019. Just in time for the Rugby World Cup.
“When I moved over (to Ireland) I knew full well that my career wouldn’t be continued in South Africa,” Kleyn told Sky Sports
“I’ve laid down my roots here and I’m pretty intent on just staying here and if it happens that I do get the call-up to the Irish squad in the future, I’d love to play, but obviously that’s not set in stone or anything like that.
“I’m just going to keep playing my rugby and hope I’m good enough to make the cut.
“I really love the place. I’ve been living here close to 18 months now and I’ve nothing to complain about.
“I even think the climate suits me a bit better because I prefer the cold to the hot! I actually do. I get hot really easily so the cold climate really suits me.”
You can read Kleyn’s lengthy interview with Sky Sports in full here.