Damian de Allende: petrol can explosion could’ve ‘been a lot worse’

Munster head coach Johann van Graan ‘hugely relieved that the lads are all okay’

Damian de Allende has revealed that a petrol can explosion led to him and his fellow Springboks World Cup winner RG Snyman each suffering substantial burns to their legs, hands and faces.

Munster teammates CJ Stander and Mike Haley also suffered burns to their hands in what a Munster statement described as a "fire pit incident at the weekend". De Allende and Snyman will be sidelined from training pending another meeting with a specialist later this week to review the next steps of their recovery whereas Stander and Haley could yet feature in Friday's Rainbow Cup game away to Zebre.

De Allende has told SuperSport's Brendan Nel that the players were enjoying themselves at a firepit when "one of the guys decided to pour petrol on the fire".

The petrol can caught alight and exploded, leaving the players in need of hospital attention.


“We were just sitting around the fire and one of the boys threw a bit of petrol over the fire and then it caught his hand and he just tried to put it down on the floor and then the whole thing caught alight and exploded.”

While the players were rushed to hospital, the initial burns looked worse than expected, but upon consulting a specialist on Sunday it seemed they would be okay and not out of action for too long.” De Allende admitted it could have “been a lot worse.

“Yeah, that’s what we’ve been saying, they thought it was a lot worse when we went into hospital on Saturday night but when we saw the specialist on Sunday he said it wasn’t as bad as they got told,” De Allende added. “We should be okay in a few weeks hopefully.”

A statement by Munster said: “Mike Haley, CJ Stander, Damian de Allende and RG Snyman required treatment for superficial burns following a fire pit accident at the weekend.

“It is expected that Haley and Stander, who sustained burns to their hands, may return to training this week with availability for Friday night’s game reviewed as the week progresses.

“De Allende and Snyman, who sustained more substantial burns to legs, hands and face, will not take part in their respective training and rehabilitation programmes and will meet a specialist again later in the week.

“On Saturday, the pair were named in Jacques Nienaber’s Springbok squad for the upcoming Lions series and are expected to link up with the squad on completion of their provincial programmes.”

Munster head coach Johann van Graan, a former Springbok assistant coach, added: “We are hugely relieved that the lads are all okay. The players have all been treated and are being well looked after, with Damian and RG meeting the specialist again later this week to review next steps of their recovery.”

Snyman and De Allende are due to meet up with the Springbok squad after their Rainbow Cup commitments for Munster with Snyman still on a recovery programme since injuring his ACL seven minutes into his debut against Leinster last August.

In advance of hosting the Lions, the Springboks are fearful that number ‘8’ and talisman Duane Vermeulen could be out with an ankle injury for a number of weeks.

While there have been rumours that Vermeulen underwent surgery on the ankle on Tuesday, no injury update has been issued by the Springboks or his franchise, the Bulls.

The Springboks have already started their preparations for the Lions series with a mini-camp in Bloemfontein which included a quintet of players who have finished their campaigns in Japan - Jesse Kriel, Willie le Roux, Malcolm Marx, Franco Mostert and Kwagga Smith - as well as Frans Steyn.

The rest of the 46-man squad are expected to join the preparations for the Lions tour once their Rainbow Cup and commitments in Europe have been completed. The Springboks have arranged two warm-up matches against Georgia next month before the Lions Test series begins on July 24th.

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley is Rugby Correspondent of The Irish Times