Jaco Taute is loving life in the Munster jersey

Jaco Taute: ‘I get along with everyone so well and get along with the coaches, especially the players, my team mates. It has been great.’
Jaco Taute is loving life in the Munster jersey

Jaco Taute was central to a considerable degree of controversial negotiations between Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus and IRFU player-boss David Nucifora for several weeks before it was confirmed he would remain a Munster player until end of the season.

There were those who believed Munster received favourable treatment when it was announced Taute and Francis Saili, both centre three quarters, would remain on the province’s books in apparent contradiction of the IRFU’s rules governing the limit on overseas players in the same position.

Taute was delighted, and revealed, with the outcome and stressed this week his disposition remains very much the same.

“Yes, I am very happy and loving life at the moment,” he declared.

“I can’t believe it has already been two months. Hopefully, I can turn the clock back a bit because the time is flying past so quickly. I love playing for Munster and at the moment, I am just enjoying being on the pitch.

“You are always a bit nervous when you go to a new place, meet new people, especially a new culture of people, but I have been very blessed and I am grateful about the opportunities I have received.

"I have been working very hard on settling in. It has been easy for me. I get along with everyone so well and get along with the coaches, especially the players, my team mates. It has been great.

“That is why it feels to me like I only arrived here a week ago. Time has flown past, so I feel grateful and blessed with the opportunity I have, the fact I can play and make a difference at such a special club.

“I love playing in any position, I love playing, being healthy and fit.”

Taute consulted with former Munster centre and Springbok captain Jean de Villiers and many other significant rugby personalities before undertaking the challenge.

“When we played together for the Stormers, Jean and I had lots of chats about how he loved his time with Munster,” says Taute.

“I worked on my information a lot before I came here. I watched all the great Heineken Cup games, so I knew what I was letting myself in for and that made me even more motivated to try and take my opportunity.”

Whether playing at full-back or in the centre, Taute is already a favourite with the Red Army who are wondering whether he will still be a Munster player next season.

“We’ll see, at the moment, I am just taking it week by week, I’m just trying to help Munster to win,” he says when quizzed on his future.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t win last weekend. We have learned our lesson so I would like to just contribute even more.

"When the time comes to talk about the future, I am sure we will sit down with Rassie and work out what is the best not only for me but for the club as well.

"At the moment, we are just focusing on the next game and then we have a bit of a break and then we will regroup again.”

The loss to Scarlets at the week-end has had a salutary impact on the squad and they now realise the significance of their away game at Cardiff Blues on Saturday.

“We have had a good look at ourselves, at all the negatives and all the positives,” he stresses.

“We will learn from our mistakes and we will jump back on the horse. At this level, if you make mistakes and the other team take the opportunities, you will get punished. That is where we lost it.”

If Jaco has reservations about life in Ireland, it has to do with the weather and how he is looking forward to a two week gap: “I will be going home now for a week so it will be nice to get some sun and some proper 30 degrees. I don’t think my friends will recognise me.”

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