Why CJ Stander's Grandad Is The Hero Every Irish Rugby Fan Deserves

Why CJ Stander's Grandad Is The Hero Every Irish Rugby Fan Deserves

CJ Stander was one of the real success stories from an Irish point of view in the 2016 Six Nations, as the South African-born flanker delighted the fans with his learning of the national anthem, coupled with his seriously impressive performances on the pitch.

The Racket:

It was clear that Stander was taking his newly found Irishness very seriously, but speaking about how important getting the chance to play international rugby in South Africa this summer when the Irish team head over for a test series, the Munster man explained that his grandad was a huge influence on his career, and we would like to shake that man's hand:

I was about 12, and he didn't say he wanted to see me play for the Springboks, he said "I want to see you play international rugby" and I didn't really know what he meant at that stage.

But yeah, it worked out, I got a contract from Munster and the first guy I told was my grandad, and he said "As long as you don't go to England I'm happy."

So playing in front of him will be great, he always gives me a call after matches for advice, before matches sometimes. That's a big drive for me, to play in front of family, they couldn't make it to the Six Nations because I wasn't sure if I was going to start.

A man after the heart of Irish rugby fans everywhere is CJ's grandad.

Of course, Stander's comments ahead of Ireland clash with England made it perfectly clear that he understood where his grandad was coming from:


I aware of it. I am South African, not Irish, but it is the same thing for South Africans.

We have a thing about England. It doesn’t matter what you play or what you do, you just want to play against them so it is good to slot in with the boys. It is something for Irish people against English teams and it is good to get that feeling from the boys.

The boys are ready for this match and that there is something different in this game.

It is going to be a huge personal occasion when Ireland take on the Springboks, and we can't wait to see if Joe Schmidt can mastermind the first Irish victory on South African soil.


SEE ALSO: Relive The Bonecrunching Misery That CJ Stander Inflicted During The 2016 Six Nations

SEE ALSO: CJ Stander's Monster Stats Could Be What's Preventing Him From Being Unstoppable

Mikey Traynor

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