CJ Stander announces retirement – he will retire from professional rugby at the end of his current deal. Picture: Brian Arthur
Munster’s loved CJ Stander announces shock retirement from rugby at end of season
By I Love Limerick correspondent Peter Cooney
Ireland and Munster back-row CJ Stander has announced that he will retire from professional rugby at the end of his current deal.
The 30-year-old is set to play his final Test for Ireland against England at the Aviva Stadium next Saturday.
The Munster back row, who won his 50th Irish cap on Sunday against Scotland at Murrayfield, has decided to return to South Africa for personal reasons. The number 8 has made 150 appearances for Munster Rugby and has scored 210 points
Stander has won over the people of Limerick ever since arriving from his native South Africa in 2012 to Munster but this will be his final season in the game.
The IRFU had offered Stander a new central contract to continue playing but Stander cited his family as the main reason for declining that new deal and deciding to retire this summer.
All professional sports people are told “you will know when the time is right to hang up your boots”. It’s a sentiment one cannot fully comprehend until that day arrives.
For me, that time has come, and I hereby publicly announce my retirement from all forms of rugby. pic.twitter.com/KK5zgWC0O1
— C J Stander (@CJStander) March 16, 2021
He says he will play until the end of the mid-year Test window, which would leave him available for any Ireland summer Tests or the Lions series against South Africa.
The number 8 became eligible to play for Ireland at the end of October 2015 and was selected for Ireland’s 6 Nations squad marking his debut against Wales with a man of the match performance at the Aviva in February 2016. Stander later went on to start every game of the campaign, scoring his first international try against Italy.
In a post on his Instagram posted this Tuesday morning, Stander wrote: “All professional sportspeople are told, “you will know when the time is right to hang up your boots. It’s a sentiment one cannot fully comprehend until that day arrives. For me, that time has come, and I hereby publicly announce my retirement from all forms of rugby. I will be available to represent Munster until 27 June 2021 when my contract expires, and for International duty, until the end of the mid-year Test window. My blood will remain Munster Red long after I have said my goodbyes to the people of Limerick.”
'CJ Stander looking for more work, does he ever stop?'
— RTÉ Rugby (@RTErugby) March 16, 2021
Stander concluded: “As I now shift my focus squarely back to my family, I do so hoping that I’m leaving the Irish jersey in an even better space than when I first inherited it. Ireland has enormous talent breaking through the ranks, and it is now time for me to step back and allow a new generation of players to answer Ireland’s call.”
All of us at I Love Limerick are saddened by this news but would like to thank CJ for everything he has done for the people of Limerick and for Munster Rugby.
For more information on CJ Stander go HERE
For more stories on CJ Stander go HERE