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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

CJ Stander scores 80m try vs Glasgow on home debut for Munster

Former Bulls flanker CJ Stander scored two tries on his first start for Munster as they beat Glasgow Warriors 31-3 in the RaboDirect PRO 12 at the weekend. Stander's first try was placed over a ruck, but for the second he had to sprint over 80 meters.

Unfortunately the former South African u20 captain broke a bone in his hand during the match, so has since been ruled out until January. He, along with Niall Ronan, Sean Dougall, and Tommy O'Donnell will all miss out on Munster's Heineken Cup game againt Saracens this coming weekend. 

Flanker O'Donnell scored a lovely try himself, but it was Stander's effort that caught the eye as he showed great speed and stamina to outsprint the Glasgow cover defence.

The 22-year-old has been recruited as a 'special project', with an eye on him staying for three years then going on to represent Ireland, in much the same way hooker Richardt Strauss has. 

While frowned upon in some parts, clubs such as Munster aren't afraid to admit their intentions, and Stander is one that is earmarked to make a big difference in Irish rugby over the next few years.

He said recently that he supported the Springboks when they played Ireland a few weeks back, but added that he was a little on the fence, as he does want to play for Ireland one day.

If he keeps scoring tries like this, he'll soon become a fan favourite and have a big career ahead.

Posted at 4:18 pm | 73 comments

Stuart Hogg's hat-trick for Glasgow against Munster

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Jean De Viliers try seals win for Munster over Glasgow

Posted in Great Tries

Viewing 73 comments

chrisbriggs1 December 05, 2012 9:34 pm

How can players from another country, who have supported that country their whole lives and had ambition to play for that country then go somewhere else, hang about for 3 years and qualify for that country?! it is a joke.

I'm english and don't think that we should have brad barritt, Dylan Hartley, vainikolo, Botha etc etc.

You could argue that someone like Manu Tuilagi who has lived here since the age of 3 is ok but otherwise I don't agree with non enlish players playing for England. It devalues international rugby. Just my opinion

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Isaac December 06, 2012 2:42 am

Im pretty sure Tuilagi moved to England when he was 13.

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Benny December 06, 2012 2:30 pm

And he was almost deported a couple of years back for overstaying! But i don't see why that should exclude him from the English team :)

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CambridgeshireKid December 07, 2012 10:07 pm

Hartley has an english mum and has lived here since he was 16. I also assume that this also means that you think that Pocock shouldn't play for Oz, as he also moved there when he was 14... thought not.

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katman December 05, 2012 9:44 pm

Of all the South African players who have headed north and expressed the desire to play for another country, CJ Stander is definitely the biggest loss. He and fellow Bulls back row Arno Botha were outstanding for the Junior Boks and in the Super15. I know he has some serious competition in the Irish back row, but he's young and will only qualify in three years' time, and I have no doubt he'll be a real contender when the time comes. A real pity from an SA point of view.

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BoksKick December 05, 2012 10:16 pm

I hate seeing players so willingly be part of these naturalization schemes... It's one thing if a player decides to immigrate somewhere to pursue an international cap, but for clubs and national unions to be actively recruiting is ridiculous. It's sad to see so many SA players pulling on foreign jerseys. There must be at least one in each of the six nations teams by now.

It's also sends a bad message to the youth players of the countries doing the poaching. "Well done young English chap, you didn't drink or smoke like so many of your peers, you practiced hard and hit the gym religiously, you did everything right to become a professional with a view to playing for your country one day. Now go sit over there and keep the bench warm in case the Fijian/Samoan/South African/Kiwi who is starting in your position needs to come off before the 80 is up."

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Munster1923 December 05, 2012 11:53 pm

"There must be at least one in each of the six nations teams by now."

There must be...but there isn't.

And it's not like South Africa are innocent of raiding the rugby pantry (Raymond Rhule, Teichman, Beast, Montgomery, Krige, Chavhanga) or any other country...in the 2011 world cup, only Argentina, Georgia and Romania played with squads made up entirely of native born players.

I'm not saying I agree with the project player idea, there should be some family connection, but at least get your facts right. And no team would keep someone on a bench if they were a better player just because their competition for game time is from the southern hemisphere.

Finally, it's not like rugby is alone in this. Pretty much an international tournament in any sport is going to have players representing a country other than that of their birth.

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John 24 December 06, 2012 2:07 am

absolute drivel Munster 1923. CJ Stander was playing professional rugby inSA before he was recruited by munster. Half the players you quoted came to SA as children and grew up there. It's not like they were playing top flight rugby in their own countries. It's easy to recruit SA players because of the fact that many people want to leave SA due to the violence and the political situation. so don't come with your crap that we raid players from other countries!

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John 24 December 06, 2012 2:28 am

Don't try and sugarcoat the fact that your country deliberately go to a place which is unstable and uncertain and recruit from there. The guy said he still supports SA, he's just doing it for a better life for his family. Don't claim SA are doing the same thing. Those players you mentioned have been through South African schools, South African academies, South African coaches and would not be playing professional rugby had they not moved to SA. CJ Stander would have played for the Springboks if you hadn't have given him a passport!

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Munster1923 December 06, 2012 6:14 am

Cry me a river mate, and then try and deal in some facts.

If you read my post, you'll see I mentioned almost EVERY country does the exact same thing. Stander has a work visa, not a passport.
Nobody put him on a plane at gun point and told him to leave. He's young, maybe he just fancied playing rugby in another country for a while. You really shouldn't assume to know anyone's motives.

Your arrogance in assuming that none of those incredibly talented players named could ever play international level rugby without going through the South African system is laughable.

On your point of taking advantage of escaping the horrors of life in modern day South Africa, I know many proud native Springbok fans who would take issue with your image of their homeland. And if it is that bad there, imagine how bad it must be in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Namibia and all the other countries current and former Springboks have been born in, if they chose to live surrounded by violence and political situations. . How dare South Africa rugby take advantage of all those poor naive souls.

Additionally, and lets just take three recent players as an example, Mtawarira, Chavhanga and Brian Mujati all went to school in Zimbabwe. Mtawarira only became a citizen of SA in 2010, AFTER THREE YEARS OF RESIDENCY, and after political interference. Say what you like, Ireland never changed the law to get a player on the field. And we tend to be more more welcoming if someone chooses to make our country their home. Wasn't Beast threatened with deportation for playing with SA?

Though, judging by the unnecessarily aggressive tone of your posts, maybe Stander had a good reason for leaving, neighbours like you.

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katman December 06, 2012 7:46 am

While you might have a point when you say that all countries, including South Africa, have fielded people born, or even raised, elsewhere, you can hardly compare Stander's situation with a player moving to SA from Ghana, Zambia or Zimbabwe. Who were they going to play for if they stayed home? And against whom? What kind of international rugby career does a Zambian national have? Stander played top flight rugby at all levels bar senior national in SA before being headhunted by Munster and Ireland.

I don't think it's a black or white issue. Guys like Strauss and Stander can't be compared to, for instance, Mouritz Botha who was a nobody in SA, started playing for a nobody team in England and worked his way up to Sarries and then England. I don't see anything wrong with what he did, but the latest Irish signings just don't feel right.

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matt the mauler December 06, 2012 2:55 pm

Scotland will gladly take Patrick Lambie back from you seeing as he was born in Troon and moved to South Africa when he was 13(ish)!

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FoXtroT December 06, 2012 3:23 pm

Umm no he wasn't born in Scotland, he was born and raised in Durban. Get your facts straight.

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matt the mauler December 06, 2012 3:48 pm

Apologies. It was his Dad who lived in Scotland. My mistake.

We'll still take him though. Could do with a decent fly-half!

Interesting family history though. He's related to the Broons fae Troon (Gordon and Peter Brown).

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Benny December 06, 2012 3:05 pm

I hear what you're saying, Beast had no chance to play pro rugby for Zim but on the flip side, guys like Strauss or Waldrom both knew that they had almost no chance of playing for their national teams either. Must be frustrating for those two in particular knowing that not only aren't they best in the country but not even in their own families. I don't blame them for wanting to play rugby at the highest level and can't blame the countries for picking them.

But Stander, Rathbone, this is a problem that can be very easily solved by increasingly qualification to 5 or 6 years. A 15 year old immigrant can play at 20 or 21, a 20yo can play at 25/26. Not ideal, but seems fair.

I am against what RSA was talking about doing though, making <20 teams the national A side to prevent those guys moving offshore. Guys like Harris and Maitland had no chance to play for NZ so let them go elsewhere if they qualify. You can't have 20-30 new ABs each year so why lock in 20-30 annually based on decisions they make as teens


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Canadian content December 07, 2012 1:23 am

You ever think that maybe Stander is doing the same thing? Moving to a country with a better standard of living? Where he might not get murdered randomly on the street or in a robbery?

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Munster1923 December 06, 2012 8:43 pm

The problem there Benny is if a player becomes a citizen of a country after (for example) three years, then how can you stop him from representing the national team without some serious civil rights restrictions.

It's not an easy topic to resolve, obviously, I'm not a huge fan of players being drafted in to the national team, and I'm very supportive of the foreign player cap that the Irish provinces have.
Ideally, a foreign player coming in will force the native players to up their games and play their way into the national side.
No country is going to ignore homegrown talent just because there's some guy 3,500 miles away that might work out.

Lastly, the "project player" thing came about because, in Ireland's case, the provincial sides threw a carrot before the IRFU saying "hey, help us bring this guy in and he might play for Ireland". No need to say I'm paraphrasing here. The success of Munster and Leinster in the EC is, naturally, a point of pride, the IRFU are doing whatever they can, rightly or not, to replicate that with the national team.




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Full Back December 06, 2012 7:04 pm

Pienaar plays with Ulster, made a good life for himself and his kids and plays for South Africa.
It's a personal choice on the players behalf.
I'm no fan of the whole scheme myself, and I imagine I'd be annoyed if the flux of players was going the opposite direction so I can understand your anger though.

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Reality December 05, 2012 10:16 pm

Wow, he looks fantastic. Great pace and a pretty good step as well.

He seems to be another Richardt Strauss in the making though. What's the point in supporting your country if half the players are just foreign imports? Ireland look set to be the next England.

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Reality December 05, 2012 10:18 pm

Actually, I just realised that the video description said he was the next Strauss, so, forget I mentioned that part.

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BoksKick December 05, 2012 10:20 pm

As for CJ Stander, I hope he seriously considers returning to SA to try and fight for a spot in green and gold rather than trying to be the next Dion O'Cuinneagain...

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smashhulk December 05, 2012 10:28 pm

These questions of eligibility might get more complicated if Sevens gets in the olympics, since the rules there are different.

Could be made simpler by doing it on a passport basis. So someone would really have to switch nationality.

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BoksKick December 05, 2012 10:44 pm

I don't know if that alone is the answer. Many South Africans have a second passport (mainly British) so that would only slow the flow a bit. Beyond that if a passport is all that is required to switch allegiances there are a number of economic immigrant investor schemes that allow you to get a passport for a large lump sum in under a year. Assuming the poaching unions are paying, this could actually make the problem worse. I say if you've played U19 or above for a country you should be ineligible to play for another.

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Munster1923 December 05, 2012 11:56 pm

Don't want to flog a dead horse here, but it took ages to find this, so I'm not wasting it;
What do all these players have in common?

Spanner Forbes - Australia
Tommy Hepburn - Botswana
Christian Stewart -Canada
Paul Scott - Canada
Alf Larad - England
Ben Andrew - England
Charlie Trignell - England
Ernest Olver - England
Ferdi Aston - England
Frank Guthrie - England
Geoff Gray - England
Henry Gorton - England
Nick Mallet - England
Steve Atherton - England
Tommy Etlinger - England
Wilfred Trenery - England
George Crampton - Ireland
Hugh Ferris - Ireland
Chris Badenhorst - Namibia
Grant Esterhuizen - Namibia
Henning van Aswegen - Namibia
Henry Tromp - Namibia
Percy Montgomery - Namibia
Sias Swart - Namibia
Broekie van Broekhuizen - Netherlands
Alex Frew - Scotland
Bob Snedden - Scotland
Edward Little - Scotland
John Allan - Scotland
Willie McEwan - Scotland
Christo Bezuidenhout - Spain
Birdie Partridge - Wales
Taffy Townsend - Wales
Corne Krige - Zambia
Adrian Garvey - Zimbabwe
Ben-Piet van Zyl - Zimbabwe
Bob Skinstad - Zimbabwe
Brian Mujati - Zimbabwe
Chris Rogers - Zimbabwe
David Smith - Zimbabwe
Des van Jaarsveld - Zimbabwe
Gary Teichmann - Zimbabwe
Ian McCallum - Zimbabwe
Ian Robertson - Zimbabwe
Joe Francis - Zimbabwe
Roy McCallum - Zimbabwe
Tendai Mtawarira - Zimbabwe
Tonderai Chavhanga - Zimbabwe

If you said "They were all Springboks", give yourself a pat on the back and a cookie.

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Munster1923 December 05, 2012 11:59 pm

As you can see just from this list, players switching countries is not a new phenomenon.
It's just the reasons that appear to be changing.

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BarryT December 06, 2012 1:18 am

Very Impressive work! that's how you back up a point!

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Guy December 06, 2012 9:40 am

Dude, I +1-ed all your comments. The first one was good, the second even better. But this one is really, really impressive, as BarryT mentioned. Top notch!

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Full Back December 06, 2012 7:11 pm

Some of these examples might be akin to saying that Ronan O Gara should be playing for the US and Jamie Heaslip for Israel. (I don't think that it's just an example)

I'd agree with Bokskick that once you've represented your country at underage then you can't switch sides.

I'm Irish and love to see the national team do well, but I have to say that if we start naturalizing players specifically for rugby alot of the pride and satisfaction will be gone from it.
A National team should represent a nations ability to produce a rugby team, not acquire one. We have great players in Ireland, lets rely on them and them alone.

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FoXtroT December 06, 2012 11:58 am

Ok now tell me this, which of these players were raised and schooled in rugby in their country of birth or in SA? Also the majority of your list is of players that played in the amateur era and/or came from our neighboring countries which never had strong rugby playing cultures and at the same time had very close ties in South Africa.

Name one player that was specifically lured to SA in order to play professional international rugby for the Springboks?

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DanKnapp December 06, 2012 1:56 pm

Godlike rugby geekery. You win.

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BoksKick December 06, 2012 4:01 pm

Munster1923, you're missing my point. I never said being born in one country should stop you playing for another. What I said was that out and out recruiting for the purposes of bolstering your national team is the issue and needs to be stopped.

Of this wonderful list that you have compiled not a SINGLE one of those players was lured with a package to ultimately drive them to wear an SA jersey. Not even Beast Mtawarira. Beast endured a 35 hours bus journey from Bulawayo to Durban to try out for the Sharks and after making a name for himself was called up. Do you see the difference? I fear not.

As for the rest of the list, you must understand that the geopolitics of SA and the region skews things. The movement of the people between Zimbabwe/Rhodesia, Namibia, and SA is quite free and often families straddle these countries. As for all of the UK-born folks in that list they moved to he colonies for work, they were not lured to play rugby... Nick Mallett's father for example move him to Rhodesia 6 weeks after birth. Again, it's important that you see the difference.

As for Christian Stewart - who I have met and talked to about this very topic - he moved to SA as a child and learned the game and did his schooling there. Incidentally he is a dual international.

In a comment above you scoffed at me for suggesting that that each six nations team had at least one South African-developed player in their ranks recently. You may be right but off the top of my head:

Italy:
Tobi Botes

England:
Brad Barritt
Mouritz Botha

Scotland:
Dave Denton and a couple guys in the sevens outfit.

France:
Brian Liebenberg

Ireland:
Richardt Strauss

I'm not going to bother with a more comprehensive list...

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ScotlandFan December 06, 2012 7:04 pm

Dave Debton may have been schooled in SA but he was born in Zimbabwe to a Scottish mother. He has been widely quoted as saying he has never considered playing for anyone other than Scotland - a claim given some credibility by the fact that he left SA when he left school, moved to Scotland, joined the national academy, played for Scotland under-20s before winning a pro-contract whilst playing amateur rugby in prem 1.

He certainly was not headhunted by Scotland and doesn't really illustrate your point at all. WP Nel and Johann Strauss do however, but as neither of them have yet been capped we'll have to wait and see.

It should be pointed out that SA have 3 years to cap Stander, and as he supports them it shouldn't be too hard to cap him and tell him to move to a French club, no?

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BoksKick December 06, 2012 7:34 pm

Fair enough. I wasn't implying the SRU were going shopping in RSA just that there were players with SA roots in all team.

Scotland prefers Kiwi talent and this has been aided by the grandparents rule. Off the top of my head: Glenn Metcalfe, John Leslie, Martin Leslie, Brendan Laney, and probably 5 or so others...

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Munster1923 December 06, 2012 8:29 pm

Bokskick, I want to start by saying you have made your points well, and most of my argument was directed at John 24 who suggested my comments were "drivel" & "crap", unlike him, you appear to be capable of intelligent, mature debate. So I'll ignore him from now on and we can get on with it like adults.

You did say that "There must be at least one in each of the six nations teams BY NOW." Which would suggest you are talking about current squads. Liebenberg is retired and, to the best of my knowledge, never played pro outside France.

David Denton has been well covered by ScotlandFan below (and I thought I was a rugby nerd!).
No one can deny that England have raced ahead in the "project player" stakes, so no argument there.

Tobie Botes barely makes the Italian team, so I can't imagine SA are kicking themselves too much over that one.

Strauss I'll give to you as well, but here's where we end up getting all caught up again.

I don't know the ins and outs of "project player" contracts, but I can't imagine they mean a player is unable to return home after a year or two if things don't quite work out.

And what are your thoughts on a player moving to another country, being developed as a player there, over several years, and then deciding he's happier in his new home and wants to stake his claim there.
Let's not forget, these players, take Strauss for example, have no option to return to their native national side after they play that first senior international game. I can't imagine it's a decision taken lightly.

Lets look outside rugby for a minute. I move to a new country, I find a place I like and where I feel very much at home. Once I have followed all legal procedures, am I not entitled to stay and further my chosen career there. Be it rugby, architecture or medicine? If I am lucky advance to an elite level at my profession, in my new home, I might well be inclined to stay and thrive.

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Munster1923 December 06, 2012 8:29 pm

Bokskick, I want to start by saying you have made your points well, and most of my argument was directed at John 24 who suggested my comments were "drivel" & "crap", unlike him, you appear to be capable of intelligent, mature debate. So I'll ignore him from now on and we can get on with it like adults.

You did say that "There must be at least one in each of the six nations teams BY NOW." Which would suggest you are talking about current squads. Liebenberg is retired and, to the best of my knowledge, never played pro outside France.

David Denton has been well covered by ScotlandFan below (and I thought I was a rugby nerd!).
No one can deny that England have raced ahead in the "project player" stakes, so no argument there.

Tobie Botes barely makes the Italian team, so I can't imagine SA are kicking themselves too much over that one.

Strauss I'll give to you as well, but here's where we end up getting all caught up again.

I don't know the ins and outs of "project player" contracts, but I can't imagine they mean a player is unable to return home after a year or two if things don't quite work out.

And what are your thoughts on a player moving to another country, being developed as a player there, over several years, and then deciding he's happier in his new home and wants to stake his claim there.
Let's not forget, these players, take Strauss for example, have no option to return to their native national side after they play that first senior international game. I can't imagine it's a decision taken lightly.

Lets look outside rugby for a minute. I move to a new country, I find a place I like and where I feel very much at home. Once I have followed all legal procedures, am I not entitled to stay and further my chosen career there. Be it rugby, architecture or medicine? If I am lucky advance to an elite level at my profession, in my new home, I might well be inclined to stay and thrive.

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BoksKick December 07, 2012 10:02 pm

Munster1923,
I myself am an immigrant and have settled into a new country that I live in and have grown to love. I work here and my kids will be more from here than anywhere else. That being the case, I would not for one second want to deprive somebody the right to represent an adopted country - that just wouldn't be right. If all of that happens organically great, I don't take any issue. Richardt Strauss can pull on the blue and yellow of Ukraine for all I care.

For me it starts to get murky when international caps start to be dangled at players signing with foreign clubs. This prospect sweetens the pot and perhaps is the clincher for good talent. I agree its not as if these players are being taken at gunpoint but I feel that the spirit of the game is being hurt. A system similar to what goes on in US college sports may be appropriate; certain things are just flat out not allowed to be discussed or to be part of any contract even verbally.

At a minimum an "import" should:
- have lived in an adopted country for 4/5 years. This time period works because it minimizes dangling the chance to play at a world cup in front of young players.
- hold a passport of the new country. My understanding is that a three-year resident of an adopted country can represent that country even without being a citizen or holding a passport. Laughable.
- not have represented any other country at anything past U18.

Cheers!

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Charl December 05, 2012 11:06 pm

We will see, he only signed a 2 year deal. There is still a good chance of him heading back to play for the Boks for the 2015 world cup. Right now he is saying what he needs to , to keep his new employers happy. I think if he resigns past the initial 2 year contract his intentions will become more clear. The one good thing is we have plenty of up and coming flankers in SA.

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katman December 05, 2012 11:12 pm

The reason he left is because, apart from the regulars in the Bok back row (Alberts, Vermeulen, Louw, Spies, Brussouw, Burger, Kankowski and maybe still Smith), guys like Marcel Coetzee, Siya Kolisi and apparently Arno Botha were all ahead of him in the pecking order. And it must me tough to look at those odds and still back your chances of making the Bok squad in the next year or two. I don't agree with the mercenary nature of the modern international game at all, but on an individual level you can see why he made the move.

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stroudos December 07, 2012 10:49 am

Are South African babies born with an arm bound onto the back of a scrum?

There seems to be no end of brilliant back-row players. If I were South African I wouldn't worry about flankers emigrating and playing for other countries. You guys could probably supply an entire back-row unit to ten other international sides and still keep the best three for yourselves.

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katman December 07, 2012 7:54 pm

Ha ha, yes we have a few. But we'll trade some for a good tighthead prop, a scrumhalf and an outside centre.

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Pretzel December 06, 2012 12:03 am

I really dislike the idea of players moving abroad and then hey presto playing for that team.

I mean, I don't know whether he has a Grandma that was half Irish or w/e, but in some respects England has done it with Tuilagi. I get the reasons, he is a product of English school rugby etc, but he has no ties to England, perhaps one could make an exception as Tuilagi did grow up in England (I'm lead to believe).

However I find it a tad cynical to import a player with the view to him representing your country. I mean I don't understand how this will improve Irish rugby? If for instance a herd of up and coming Dan Carters, and McCaws, and the like decide they'd rather swap the emerald isles for NZ and don the green Irish shirt and they waltz straight into the Irish team, would this actually improve IRISH rugby? All we'd have is Irish Kiwi's. It wouldn't help the home grown guys, it wouldn't improve IRISH rugby, it would improve the rankings of that team playing FOR Ireland...

French clubs have a reputation for being big spenders, so why don't the French just start offering silly money to get any player they want to come and play for the international team...

Seems a shame thats all...

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BarryT December 06, 2012 1:20 am

Players evidently have their right to choose, if they're getting nowhere with their rugby in a country and decided to persue a different life in another country then so be it! This stander lad will have serious competition for the backrow slot in ireland but surely he must be aware of this! I'd like to think players have enough pride in their club and country to stick it out but if they're unfairly being benched etc, can you blame them for moving? I don't like it but who are we to judge

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Pretzel December 06, 2012 5:28 pm

But wouldn't this turn things into a franchise? As I mentioned France is constantly accused of stealing players away with the temptations of large paychecks... Now if the French decide they'd like to offer McCaw Jnr, Carter Jnr, Matfield Jnr, Lomu Jnr, (you get my point, 1-15) a large pay check, then provided those players fulfil a 3 year stint in the country etc then France could field an entire team of "non French" players, effectively a World XV and turn the whole thing into a "who can pay more" type of thing.. (Sorry France, I only pick on you because I am aware of a number of players which have played in France due to the climate, the paycheck, the way of life etc)...

I don't have a problem so much with players being bought or brought over for clubs, but I think when they then venture into the international side it's wrong. I think it is important to see home grown players and develop and hand down their skills to other home grown players and so the NATION on a whole gets better.

Stick all the current All Blacks in Namibian jersey's and tell me that Namibia's rugby has improved greatly....

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Ottawa Rugger December 06, 2012 1:56 am

Unlike most people, I generally feel that the residency rule is not a bad thing. Three years is actually a fair amount of time. I know here in Canada it would be enough to apply for citizenship, so why not let them play? Home is where you lay your head. But home is also where the heart is, and it doesn't sound like Stander's heart is in Ireland. So in this case I might say I'm not all for it. Beast, for example, or Castrogiovanni, have adopted their countries just like their countries adopted them, so let's not forget that.

There are a lot of countries where expats are what drives the Sport. There, letting foreign born-players into the national squad increases the quality of the Rugby, and might give the team more publicity and promote naturals picking up the oval ball. I agree that there are stories that everyone likes to latch on to, but on the whole I don't think the residency rule is as much of a farce as everyone makes it out to be.

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Matt December 06, 2012 1:55 pm

Agree that the residency rule is a good thing; disagree that three years is a fair amount of time.

I think that increasing the time period to 6 years would help solve a lot of these issues, as it stops one country poaching a player that has already been developed by another - if you bring over a 23 y.o. you won't get more than 3-4 years international service out of them. Is that worth the financial investment?

Perhaps years spent in a country before the age of 18/21 should be made to count double? This would reward the development of young players and avoid penalising guys who move to a new country when they're school age.

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Ottawa Rugger December 07, 2012 5:36 am

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Maybe they ought to look at giving different periods of time different weight. hadn't thought of that

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ConnachtMan December 06, 2012 11:31 am

Don't forget the new "Irish" prop Michael Bent who was parachuted STRAIGHT into the irish team having never played any club or provincial game in ireland! Its a long long way to Taranaki!

http://www.drogheda-independent.ie/sport/rugby/irelands-wrong-call-on-kiwi-prop-3298420.html

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Cluainoir December 06, 2012 5:48 pm

Bent has an Irish grandparent and an Irish passport, fully entitled to play for Ireland.

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Reality December 06, 2012 6:13 pm

I'd say that setting foot in the country should be a first step before being given a contract and asked to play for the national team.

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Full Back December 06, 2012 7:14 pm

stickler for details there Reality ;)

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stroudos December 07, 2012 10:52 am

"Its a long long way to Taranaki!" Nice one!

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Sheehan88 December 06, 2012 1:13 pm

I just thought it was a good try ! :L:L

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Mark December 06, 2012 2:13 pm

Yeah awesome try especially from a backrow going 80 metres. You dont see that often

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matt the mauler December 06, 2012 3:00 pm

I'm getting a tad fed up of the over celebration of tries in rugby these days. This over the top hugging and group bonding when a try is scored just seems a tad unneccessary. I don't mind celebration but it's verging a little into football and I think it's a little bad taste. Bring back the days of when a try was scored everybody trotted back to the halfway line to get back to the job of scoring another.

Anyone else noticed this? Anyone else bothered?

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katman December 06, 2012 4:21 pm

When you're a forward and you've outsprinted the entire backline for 80m, you're allowed a little hug, even two.

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thirteen December 06, 2012 11:04 pm

Matt - couldn't agree with you more. i really dont like to see this football style celebration. There seem to be other parts of football culture creeping into the game too e.g. getting sent off for throwing a pretty harmless punch & fans booing the kickers etc..

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Patrick December 09, 2012 9:34 pm

Are you seriously begrudging players the right to celebrate how they want to with their team-mates?? Absolutely ridiculous statement, it has nothing to do with football at all

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stroudos December 07, 2012 11:06 am

Hate it. Absolutely hate it.

On a similar note, I utterly despise the playing of music at trytime in internationals. I want to hear 50-60,000 people all screaming and cheering - that cacophony reverberating around a stadium is brilliant. I don't want to hear a bunch of fucking muppets going "da dada dadah, da dada dadah, da dada dadah, da dada dadah" like spoonfed morons, as if the stadium manager thinks the spectators are incapable of noticing that this is the point in the game where you cheer and get excited.

Matt, I think you're Scottish? Bit different for you perhaps because the Murrayfield announcers at least have the good taste to play 500 Miles by The Proclaimers. The only one I don't mind hearing at Twickenham is Song 2 by Blur. I suppose anything would be better than that awful "da dad dadah" bullshit, but nothing is infinitely better than anything - let's hear the bloody crowd instead!

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matt the mauler December 07, 2012 3:23 pm

I am indeed. And it's a great honour to hear our National Anthem being played whenever a try is scored! Shame it rarely ever happens.

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ConnachtMan December 06, 2012 4:04 pm

I think the celebration is due to Stander being new to the team, but I agree I also hate the bromance celebrations, and don't get me started on the Chris Ashton Superman dives.

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Reality December 06, 2012 6:27 pm

I was wondering, what are people's thoughts on what playing for the national team should mean? Everybody's talking about passports, technicalities, countries of birth etc. but at the end of the day, in an ideal world, what should it mean?

My view is that to play for a country, you should have spent a significant part of your life there, or at least have some sort of strong relation to the place. I don't think the birthplace has any relevance, because what does it matter what piece of land you were born in? What matters is what comes after that point, surely?

Is the idea of having allowances for foreign-born players not to give people who have a strong link to the country, but weren't born there, the opportunity to play? Isn't anything more just an abuse of the system?

I think the idea of having a distant relation from the place shouldn't be enough, because I don't see how having a few genes from the place is comparable to having grown up and lived in the place for your whole life.

Does having a residency rule not make playing for the 'national' team meaningless, considering that it's not national at all? They obviously won't be considered to be Irish, French, English or whatever the case may be, so why should they be allowed to play for the national team of the country in question?

Would people not feel happier and prouder knowing that their players have come from the country's stock, have gone through the country's systems, and are a product of the country, rather than seeing these aliens who have happened to spend a few years in the place, or who have a very tenuous link to the place, represent their country?


The thing is, people keep talking about legality and passports, but are they really what playing for your country is about?

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Full Back December 06, 2012 7:18 pm

I agree with you here Reality. Look at "The story of the mighty All Blacks" and you'll get an idea of why they're great.
A National player for me should represent his people, not the first team that lets him on, that's what clubs are for!

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mhg92 December 06, 2012 7:02 pm

'CJ Stander would have played for the Springboks if you hadn't have given him a passport! ' no one forced him to accept it, and hed still have the choice between the two, so no he wouldnt.
dont understand why people get so bitter about players choosing who they want to play for. when a player goes and gets a nationality to play for a team they want too then everyone goes up in arms, wales protest to steven shingler going to play for scotland because hes welsh and everyone goes up in arms anyway.
if someone has reached a level to represent the team they want at a international level then good on them they deserve it.

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Ted the slacker December 06, 2012 11:29 pm

I think the commenters complaining about switching nationalities are a bit blind to the realities of the game - it's more prevalent for sure, but it's hardly new. There's something romantic about believing players should be cradle to grave patriots, but it's also a pipe-dream.

Basically, I do not begrudge any professional rugby player who ups sticks and gives it a go in another country. Good luck to you, CJ Stander or whoever, if you earn a call-up from Ireland, that's all credit to you.

My only caveat is that you mustn't moan about what caused you to leave your country of birth. Make your decision, commit to it, and I'll respect your choice. That's the rugby way.

Stander I think would have been Springbok though. The loose forward competition is tough, but I am sure he'd have gotten a cap at some point. He'll do well in - and probably for - Ireland.

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Casual Observer December 07, 2012 8:44 am

Building (or as an aside to) Munster's well developed point, I think people are overlooking the fact he's just signed a professional contract to play for a team abroad.

Wikipedia (as much as I'd hate to rely on it to substantiate my point) states that "As Munster could not sign any more internationally capped players, he has been signed as a project player". They could just be working around competition rulings to strengthen their squad; can't imagine why anyone would get up in arms about this.

CJ could develop an attachment for his country within that 3 years/feel some sort of bond with a country a continent away willing to fork out his wages, sing their lungs out for him, build relationships with him and his family.

A comment question what it means to represent a countryt; I believe some sort of reciprocity is required. The country must be sufficiently proud of the player calibre (and at times, moral fibre) for them to ask him to represent them - and that's what I deem to be the objective of the 2 year evaluative period in a "PROJECT" contract. The player, in most circumstances is likely to feel a fostered emotional attachment as well. Does it really matter then where he was born?

It's the 21st century; and increasingly globalized world with cross-border work and living opportunities. You could argue that national teams should adhere to archaic notions of being born (or loosened to merely being 'bred') in the country, and stay distinct from clubs and their commercial and competitive aspirations. Alternatively though, I feel that in pursuing their interests/professions abroad, they're more than entitled to choose to play for that country if they feel up for it.

To end off; some brought up Mtawirra's story of travelling 350km by bus and the hardships endured. If Stander breaks bones, tears muscles and bleeds his heart out dragging Munster (and the fans) to glory, would the Mtawirra-supporting critics consider his Irish cap "legitimate"?

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katman December 07, 2012 9:38 am

You missed the point a previous poster made about Mtwarira. Which was that he put himself on a bus (35 hours, not 250km, to split some hairs) to get to a Sharks training camp. And this is in pretty stark contrast to being headhunted and flown up and presumably put up in luxury accommodation.

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Full Back December 07, 2012 4:35 pm

Just a personal view here, but I don't think I'm alone, I've been living in Italy for 11yrs now. My best friends are here, 11 of my 20 rugby yrs have been played here. I had goosebumps while standing in the Olympic Stadium in Rome listening to the huge hearted Italian rugby fans sing their anthem during the ABs game, but come 6 nations time, there's only one team for me and that's Ireland.
Now, is the difference between me and Botes/McLean/Geldynheys that I have been unable to form an emotional attachment to the country I got married in and had my kids in, or is it the contract that got offered? If I had the talent I believe would never have considered playing for anyone except Ireland, but then again, I never had to choose.
People should play for the country they dreamed of playing for as kids, that's where the Carters and McCaws, O'Driscolls and O'Briens come from, that the extra % that players call on when the body thinks there's nothing left.
I don't want to judge anyone or take a moral high ground, but I think the last reason people play for a country that's not their own is emotional attachment.

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Pretzel December 07, 2012 6:11 pm

I don't like the idea of "outsiders" taking up positions in a national team, however I think there are certain exceptions and what you describe (the emotional tie) is an exception.

I would prefer it if the buck stopped with the Grandparents... If you have a Grandad from NZ, a dad from Aus, a Grandma from SA, a mum from Canada, another Grandad from somewhere in Europe, and the other Grandma from Japan, and then you're born in Mongolia, then lucky you, you get a big list to choose from, however if you're a "Paddy" through and through, then sadly it's tough luck. But I could accept some sort of 5 year residency where a player has honestly committed themselves to a country and it is not just down to being offered a large salary and not being good enough to play for your own country of birth...

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Brennie December 07, 2012 5:01 pm

I'm a Munster man, and while he's welcome, I'm not gone on the idea of diluting the national team with 'project' players. IRB need to tighten up n bring in a 5+ year rule

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themull December 09, 2012 2:58 am

As an irishmman, cant say I agree with this intentional recruitment of foreign players with the aim of bringing them into the national squad...I don't mind if a player has genuinely moved to the country and is now calling it home, or at least a second home but this isnt the case here at all...

Only way to stop this is to increase the required years of residence from 3 to something like 5/6/7.... After that kind of time then a player has done enough to prove that he is really living there or calling it home..It would also cut down on this recruitment because a young guy would not have the patience to come over at a young age and have to wait half a decade before having the chance of playing for the country...A player would really have had to have been living in the country as a kid/teenager for it to work out...And if that is the case then I don't have a problem with outside players getting the chance...

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MunsterMan December 11, 2012 12:22 pm

I think one big point is being overlooked. Who can say that if he qualifies that he will be picked to play, there are plenty of backrow forwards to compete against for a position.

Jaime Heaslip
StephenFerris
Sean O,Brien
Peter O'Mahony
ChrisHenry
KevinMclaughlin
Rhys Ruddock
Iain Henderson
Dominick Ryan
Tommy O'Donnell

Seems a bit premature to suggest that Stander is a shoe in for a start

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browner January 07, 2013 9:28 pm

At the risk of re-igniting the debate ........ Didn't NZ start the whole 'play for one country [usually an island] & then switch to the AB's' .... every other country has played catch up !!

Consider what the rugby world will look like in 30 years time with another two generations of 'Financial Migration around the world'

Look at the Islander influence on NZ rugby .... compare the 1967 squad that toured england
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9YWERR196M

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