Leinster back-row Rhys Ruddock is under no illusions about the "huge challenge" Munster's new South African duo pose but he is excited at the prospect of locking horns with them.

The arrivals of World Cup winners RG Snyman and Damian De Allende have strengthened Munster's squad.

Leinster's first competitive fixture back following the enforced break due to the coronavirus pandemic will be against their provincial rivals in the Guinness Pro14 on Saturday 22 August and Ruddock expects the fresh signings to be formidable opponents.

"Obviously they are huge additions to their squad and have had success at the highest level, so I think they will bring a lot," said the Ireland international.

"But having played against De Allende, he's a serious operator. He's a challenging player, especially to defend against. He's very powerful and a direct runner with good footwork.

Damian De Allende

"Both of them, it will be a huge challenge and it will be interesting to see.

"The thing is we've seen them play a lot but we haven't seen them play for Munster yet, so it will be interesting to see how they are used within the team.

"You'd expect them to straight away come in and potentially play and add a huge amount of value straight away because they have that much quality.

"Any time you play against someone like that who we don't normally get the chance to play against in our league and they come in, it's definitely exciting as a player to challenge yourself against the best."

On a personal front, the time away from competitive action has given Ruddock a sense of perspective.

"Sometimes when you're in the midst of season after season, you can kind of be a little bit ungrateful or just forget about how lucky you are," he said.

"That period off just freshened up the body, freshened up the mind and got everyone really excited about the job that we get to do, putting our best foot forward and competing with each other and then competing against some of the best teams as well.

"Personally, I've definitely got a new appreciation for the job that we get to do."