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"It's An Honour" - CJ Stander Wins Guinness Rugby Writer's Player Of The Year

"It's An Honour" - CJ Stander Wins Guinness Rugby Writer's Player Of The Year
By Conor Neville
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CJ Stander has been announced the winner of the Guinness Rugby Writers' Player of the Year at a ceremony at the Guinness Storehouse tonight.

Stander, who made his Irish debut in the Six Nations this year, was earlier voted the Irish player of the tournament. 2016 was a historic year for Irish rugby in that it is the first year Ireland has beaten all three Southern hemisphere powers in the one calendar year. It is the first time that any team has done so since 2003.

While he was sent off early in the June victory over South Africa (the land of his birth), Stander was an influential figure in the November wins against New Zealand and Australia.


Here were his comments on the award.

It’s an honour to be voted as the Guinness Rugby Writers Player of the Year. It's good to get [the recognition]. I think when you're a younger boy you go through a stage where you want to get a lot of pats on the back but when you get older and you get into a team you just want to perform for all the boys and for the team to help them win. That's really my biggest drive.

It's been a great year, an unbelievable last three years and I've worked hard to get to the place where I am now. The biggest thing for me now is to drive on from there and not settle or be part of the furniture. You always have to push on and create something new.

So that's a big drive for me not to think I've done enough. I just want to keep on performing for the team, that's important for me, and lead a few teams.

The women's player of the year award went to Sene Naoupo who has played impressively in the centre for Ireland. The Otago born player arrived in Ireland in 2011.

The Dave Guiney Team of the Year award went to Connacht, while the AIL winners Clontarf won the club of the year.


Read more: 7 Classic Headlines You Are Guaranteed To See In Every Lions Year

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