As the IRFU come to the end of their negotiating period with currently contracted players across the provinces, speculation is once again mounting around CJ Stander’s future with Munster and Ireland.
A likely British and Irish Lions tourist this summer, No.8 Stander has been a regular of the Ireland pack for years, but a move to France is once again doing the rounds in the Irish media. Speaking on The42.ie podcast, former Dragons head coach Bernard Jackman said information relayed to him by an agent suggested that Stander is a major target for Top 14 club Bordeaux.
“I spoke to a French agent last week and he was of the opinion that CJ was going to Bordeaux — or that Bordeaux were making a serious play for him.”
“I don’t know any more than that but he’s a top player and Bordeaux are a great club. They’re very ambitious and I think they’re about to lose two eights from their current roster.
“I don’t know if he’s been talking to them or anything like that but, certainly, Bordeaux have a huge interest in CJ,” said the former Ireland and Leinster hooker.
This is not the first time Stander has been linked with a move abroad and it is not unknown for established players to – quite within their rights – seek out offers to bring back to the negotiating table with the IRFU.
Stander was the focus of a rumoured move the last time he was at the negotiating with the IRFU back table in 2017. Montpellier were reported at the time to have tabled an eye-watering €700,000 plus for the forward.
Stander rubbished it as gossip at the time: “Following a lot of speculation and unfounded articles in the media, I am delighted to announce that I have signed a new three-year contract with the IRFU through to 2021. My intention was always to stay with Munster and Ireland throughout this process having settled well in Limerick with my wife and within the Munster family.”
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