CJ Stander

Ireland’s CJ Stander and New Zealand’s Malakai Fekitoa during the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.

CJ Stander’s wife posts emotional tribute to her retiring husband

No 8 CJ Stander shocked the rugby world when he announced that he will retire from all forms of sport at the end of the season.

CJ Stander

Ireland’s CJ Stander and New Zealand’s Malakai Fekitoa during the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.

Ireland and Munster No 8 CJ Stander shocked the rugby world when he announced on Tuesday that he will retire from all forms of sport at the end of the season.

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The George-born 30-year-old won his 50th Test cap for his adopted country during Sunday’s 27-24 Six Nations win over Scotland.

Powerful back-rower CJ Stander, who is highly respected in the game, cited family reasons as the main motivation in calling time on his career.

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CJ Stander, who will turn 31 early next month, reached 150 appearances for Munster at the end of January after joining from the Bulls in 2012.

He did leave open the possibility of representing the British & Irish Lions against the Springboks should that tour go ahead later this year.

CJ Stander is married to Jean-Marié Stander, the sister of South African Olympic swimming gold medalist, Ryk Neethling.

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Jean-Marie Stander took to social media shortly after her husband’s announcement to pay a touching tribute to him.

“So many moments that brought tears to my eyes, left me in awe, made my heart physically ache – far beyond what is expected from a game (let’s face it, it’s more than a game). The times were great, and the times were tough, but you stood steadfast & true to yourself. Hardworking, never flashy, passionate & mostly always smiling. I know you gave it your all, all the time.

“And that’s the way I will remember you as a rugby player! I stand by your decision to finish this chapter to start a new one. I can’t wait for our next adventure to start!

“But first there’s still a season of rugby to be played,” she wrote.

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