Planet Rugby

Stander ready for 'game of his life'

26th April 2014 11:27

Share:

cj stander munster toulouse

Breakthrough: CJ Stander

Munster's CJ Stander relished his first taste of knockout European rugby against Toulouse, but knows Toulon will be tougher.

Stander is set for a starring role following the loss of Ireland flanker Peter O'Mahony to injury.

"The game against Toulouse was quite open. I think this is going to be tighter and tougher, more big forwards to run into. But we've worked for this all year. This is cup rugby. We have to win this game. Everything is on the line, everyone is going to throw the kitchen sink into it," Stander told the Irish Times.

"It's cup rugby. You don't want to let the team down. Everyone has to do their part, and more. I have to. I need to play the best game of my life this weekend. That's not even a given."

"Coming off the bench, you think you might get 15 minutes but I got 62 minutes [coming on for O'Mahony] and it was great, a great atmosphere.

"Thomond Park was flying. It was great running on to that pitch and getting all that energy off the crowd.

"Thomond is just something else. You run out and you just see red all over the place and people are singing songs, like Stand Up And Fight , and you think, 'this is goosebump stuff'. These are the things you write back home about.

"If someone asked me near the end of last season I'd probably played about two games for Munster. And I may have thought of maybe moving on, but the coaches and players kept encouraging me.

Stander is a product of the Blue Bulls in South Africa but now at 24 will soon qualify to play for Ireland.

Having rejected the temptations of France, Stander remains loyal to the Irish province who brought him over from Pretoria, with the blessing of his father.

"He's a big Blue Bulls supporter, and he's also a big Springbok supporter. I sat down with him and said: 'There's about 20 guys in front of me here and Munster are giving me a chance.'

"Playing for Ireland wasn't even in the picture then. I just wanted to go overseas. He said: 'I will support you full on. You go and do your best'."

  • Champions Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs SaracensMunster vs Saracens Preview
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks15:15
Castres vs Leinster13:00
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
  • Champions Cup Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Saturday , October 18
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
  • Champions Cup Table
Pool 1
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens15
2Munster14
3Sale Sharks11
4Clermont Auvergne11
Pool 2
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Leinster14
2Harlequins14
3Wasps11
4Castres10
Pool 3
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulon14
2Leicester Tigers14
3Ulster11
4Scarlets10
Pool 4
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Glasgow Warriors15
2Toulouse14
3Montpellier11
4Bath10
Pool 5
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Ospreys15
2Racing Metro Paris14
3Northampton10
4Treviso10