Beaten Guinness PRO14 finalists Munster have filled the vacancy the retiring CJ Stander will leave next season, signing one-cap Springboks forward Jason Jenkins on a one-year deal from Toyota Verblitz in the Japanese Top League. Stander, the soon-to-be 31-year-old Ireland back row, announced in the run-up to the recent Guinness Six Nations finale versus England that he would quit playing at the end of this season. 

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That decision was apparently made around the start of the Six Nations championship and it afforded Munster the opportunity to do their homework and decide who they should turn to in an attempt to replace Stander, the South African who has been with the Irish province since 2012. 

A Tuesday lunchtime statement from Munster said: “Following confirmation of CJ Stander’s upcoming retirement, Jason Jenkins will join the province ahead of the 2021/22 season on a one-year deal. “The South African, who can play in the back or second row, is currently playing with Toyota Verblitz in the Japanese Top League. 

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“Before that he represented his home club the Bulls over four years, lining out with current Munster player RG Snyman, and is widely recognised for his strong ball-carrying abilities. A former South African A and U20s player, the 25-year-old made his Springboks debut in 2018 against Wales.”

Munster boss Johann van Graan said: “We have had to manage CJ’s recent news and look at what is needed across our back row next season with Billy (Holland), who provides cover there, also retiring at the end of June.

“I have seen Jason’s progression through the South African ranks and while he was highly sought after, I am delighted he will be joining us this summer as I know he will make a great addition to the squad. Everyone is aware of the level of players we’re losing from the pack and Jason brings the required level of professionalism, physicality, and athleticism that we can draw on as he competes for his place next season.”

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Munster, who host Toulouse this Saturday in the Heineken Champions Cup round of 16 in Limerick, also announced contract extensions for senior players Fineen Wycherley and Diarmuid Barron and senior contracts for the academy quartet Jack Daly, Josh Wycherley, Thomas Ahern and Jack Crowley.

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