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'He can't have it every way' |...
Rugby

'He can't have it every way' | Quinny on CJ Stander decision to walk away

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

10:14 28 May 2021

Former Munster and Ireland star Alan Quinlan says it's hard to blame CJ Stander for his decision to hang up his playing boots, not least from a financial perspective.

The 31-year-old announced in March that he'd be retiring at the end of the current season - after a career that included 51 caps for Ireland and over 150 games for Munster.

There has been talk of an approach from the Bulls in South Africa, but Quinny told OTB AM this morning that he appears to be happy with his decision to walk away from the game.

"He could have played on in Ireland as well. He can't have it every which way, to go back to South Africa.

"I just think the heart is gone out of it for him, and I think mentally he's made this decision to try and go back to the family and get out. Of course you could play for a number of years, and he could have stayed here for a year and got his retirement and stayed around for Ireland.

"But I suppose he couldn't have gone back and played professionally then. The other option would have been go back and play in South Africa, then come back to Europe or to Ireland and play for another year with another club.

"It's a bit complicated but none of us would do anything differently. I think that tax relief is there and it was probably an incentive to ensure he hangs up the boots for good when he made the decision, and that's what gonna happen now."

Bulls head coach Jake White said this week that Stander would not be coming out of retirement to play with them.

"I made contact with CJ and let him know that I wanted him to be part of the Bulls," the Springboks head-coach said of the situation.

"He said he was flattered and humbled and appreciative that there was such an interest in him, but he confirmed that the Irish Rugby Union retirement policies didn’t allow for a return to professional rugby as it would compromise and prejudice any retirement fund payouts.

“He reiterated his love for rugby and that his decision was based on wanting his children to be near their family in South Africa and to experience their cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents.

"He was attempting to explain that his decision to retire had nothing to do with him having had enough of rugby or his body having had enough and that his body felt great and that from that perspective he had ‘seven or eight years’ left in him."

Meanwhile Stander, Tommy O’Donnell and James Cronin have been named in the Munster team for tonight's Rainbow Cup clash against Cardiff Blues at Thomond Park.

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Alan Quinlan Bulls CJ Stander IRFU Munster Munster Rugby Otb Am Quinny Rugby

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