Former Stormers lock Gerbrandt Grobler is set to make his debut for Munster against Pro14 opponents at Thomond Park, Munster, on Saturday night.
In February 2015, Grobler received a two-year ban after failing a drugs test conducted after a match in October 2014.
He joined Munster last year and since then there has been an outcry in Ireland from certain quarters who felt Grobler should not be allowed to play. Some said Munster was setting a bad example and one local newspaper referred to him as a ‘convicted doper’.
Munster and the IRFU issued a joint statement ahead Grobler’s debut on Saturday night. He was named on the bench for Johann van Graan’s Munster side.
The statement reads: ‘In relation to Gerbrandt Grobler’s selection for the province, Munster Rugby and the IRFU wish to reiterate that Gerbrandt, as a member of the Munster squad and living by our values, will continue to be considered for selection during his time with the province, once deemed fit.
‘While some hold the view that rugby should provide no road-back for those that have taken a banned substance in the past, it would not be within the spirit and values of rugby to turn its back on every person that ever made a bad decision, having made restitution.’