Ireland loose forward CJ Stander says his late hit on former Springbok Pat Lambie will be ‘a stain on his career forever’.
Stander made his Test debut against his native country South Africa in 2016, but 22 minutes into the game at Newlands he was sent off for a late, dangerous and reckless attempted charge-down. Stander clattered into Lambie’s head and the concussed Springbok immediately had to be taken from the field.
The incident caused many concussion-related problems for Lambie, who ultimately had to retire in 2019 because of the ongoing affect of his head injuries.
In a candid interview with Rapport four years after the incident, Stander has candidly opened up about how it has impacted his life and career.
‘Not a day goes by that I don’t think about it,’ Stander told Rapport.
‘It’s the hardest thing I’ve been through in my career. Since then, I’ve not jumped up to challenge for a ball unless it’s in a lineout.’
Stander added that the incident would haunt him forever.
‘I was disappointed in myself but also for my family. It will be a stain on my career forever. After that game, I didn’t care if I played or if we won again. I was just worried that he was OK.’