Munster's CJ Stander: "I think we made Axel proud"

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Munster's CJ Stander: "I think we made Axel proud"

MUNSTER number eight CJ Stander said the side had performed the way Anthony Foley had wanted them to perform when he took over as head coach three years ago in Saturday’s 38-21 drubbing of Glasgow Warriors.

Stander wore the number 24 jersey in Munster’s bonus point Champions Cup win as the province opted to retire the number 8 for their sold-out Pool 1 fixture. 

Stander said: “It was a very, very tough week. I am very proud of the boys, how they stood up. I think a lot of boys turned into men this week. 

“Our thoughts were, all the time, with the family, with Olive, Dan and Tony. We knew it was going to be a difficult week. Rassie said before the match, boys if we want to do justice, we play for Axel, we have to play the way he wants us to play.

“I have sat here week in and week out and told you that we made mistakes, we need to do this and fix this, I think today we performed the way that Axel wanted us to perform three years ago.

“I think we made him proud today. He is not a man who really smiles a lot. He is probably up there saying boy, they’ve scored a mauling try, but I think he is proud today, smiling on top of the boys.

“My heart is with Olive, Dan and Tony. “It was great to see them (Daniel and Tony) on the pitch after the game (singing Stand Up and Fight with the Munster players), it was massive.

“I think everyone deals with emotion differently during the week and I wasn’t really emotional, crying, but I felt the loss inside me. When I saw the two boys walking onto the pitch, that’s when I broke down. 

“The next few days and next few years are going to be tough for them and they’re going to miss a big man in their life, their father. I feel so sorry for their loss. I know he meant the world to them, he meant the world to me.

“It was great to see them on the pitch.”