Andy Farrell has expressed delighted that Ireland were able to send the retiring CJ Stander off on a winning note by beating England in the Guinness Six Nations on Saturday in Dublin. The soon-to-be 31-year-old shocked the rugby world last Tuesday by announcing he is to quit the sport at the end of this season.
He still has important matches to play with Munster, starting with next weekend’s PRO14 final versus Leinster followed by a Heineken Champions Cup round of 16 game against Toulouse the week after. There could yet even be a selection for what would be his second Lions tour.
However, his appearance on Saturday at the Aviva Stadium was the 51st and last time he will ever wear the Ireland jersey and coach Farrell was chuffed everything came together just right and Stander was able to sign off with a memorable 32-18 win.
“I said to him in the changing room that he can be as emotional as he wants to be now because he has given his heart and soul to the jersey, to the green one and to the red one – and he has a chance to play in a cup final next week for Munster. We wish him all the best with that,” said Farrell in the aftermath of the round five Six Nations finale.
“It has been an emotional week that we have tried a lid on as best we can. You can say whether we should have brought that out (in public) or not but it was fitting that CJ was able to say goodbye to his friends and tell them the truth and where he is coming from, the reasons why.
More than a game.
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 20, 2021
“How they have responded to him and how he has kept a smile on his face has been totally fitting to what this team is about. We’re delighted that we were able to put a performance together for CJ to send him off in the right way.
“We’re delighted we controlled emotion in the right way. He is emotional in the changing rooms but happy emotional. I can’t say enough about him as a bloke. He is the most kind-hearted and most genuine bloke that you will ever meet and he will be a mate forever.”
There are now huge questions about the credibility of this England team and the over-reliance of Eddie Jones on a plethora of his favourite players who haven’t been putting it in #SixNations #IREvENGhttps://t.co/Q3pSQpGijV
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 20, 2021
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