De Allende leaving Munster, linked with return to South Africa

De Allende leaving Munster, linked with return to South Africa

De Allende, 30, has been with Munster since 2020 and has produced some top performances for the Irish club, although injuries or Springbok duty has rendered him unavailable at times.

The club has now confirmed that the World Cup winner will depart Munster Rugby at the end of the season, with the centre said to be “joining a club outside of Europe”.

There have been strong links with a stint in Japan, which does seem likely, but there has also been talk that he could make a return to South Africa.

The Sharks are known to be on the look out for an inside centre, but it is expected that Rohan Janse van Rensburg will make the move to Durban. There is no doubt the Bulls or Lions would welcome a player like De Allende, although any offer would pale in comparison to what he can earn in Japan.

The burly midfielder is, of course, a former Stormers player, and so there may be interest in returning to Cape Town, where he was born and grew up.

Here’s a reminder of how we rated the Bok superstar last year after another standout season on the international stage:

BOKS’ BACKLINE BULLDOZER DE ALENDE (8)

It appears that De Allende is finally starting to receive the plaudits that are due after a year in which he continued to enhance his reputation as a world-class performer.

De Allende finished the year with a standout performance against England, capping off another superb season for the dynamic midfielder.

The 30-year-old started in 11 of the Boks’ 13 Tests last year, making a consistent impact as a powerful ball carrier, while he hardly put a foot wrong on defence.

He also demonstrated how he has evolved into a player with a highly effective offloading game, and who makes a constant impact at the breakdown.

“From a go-forward perspective, Damian is your man to go to. He is unbelievable at the breakdown. He causes as much chaos in terms of getting on the ball as Duane Vermeulen, Malcolm Marx and Kwagga Smith,” former Bok great Bryan Habana recently raved when describing De Allende.

“As a rugby enthusiast, watch Damian’s work at the breakdown. He is constantly fighting, putting in that extra yard on defence and attack, putting the defence and attack under so much more pressure.

“His combination with Lukhanyo Am has been flourishing for the better part of three-and-a-half years, which is brilliant to see. He is one of the best passers of the ball. I love Damian. I think he is the calmest, chilled out guy and a brilliant bloke.”

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