Ireland No 8 CJ Stander has hinted that he might not be done playing yet despite announcing that he will be retiring at the end of the season to return to South Africa.
Back in March, Stander surprised many when he announced that he will be retiring from all professional rugby at the end of the current season.
Citing family reasons as the driver behind the decision, the 31-year-old confirmed that he will be calling time on his rugby career after reaching significant milestones in the respective green and red jerseys.
Stander made his 50th appearance for Ireland against Scotland in the recently concluded Six Nations, while he reached 150 caps for Munster when running out against Leinster at the end of January.
Appearing on the Late, Late Show, Stander was asked about the thought that he was retiring too early which has led to speculation that he may in the future re-emerge to play for one of the South African teams.
‘I think I have got a lot of rugby left in me, for sure. I’d say at least seven years,’ he answered.
The 2017 British & Irish Lion then went on to explain what fuelled his decision to retire at this time.
‘I was in South Africa during the lockdown, I got an opportunity to go back and spend time with my family and realised what is important for me, took stock of where I want to be in a few years,’ Stander said.
‘Our daughter Everli, having her there and seeing how she interacted with the grandparents, I went to my grandparents’ grave and I stood there and thought I missed their funerals, but that was not the problem. The problem that I was struggling with was I missed the last nine or ten years of their lives. That was tough, very tough, and I said to Jean-Marie [his wife] that I don’t want to take that opportunity away from Everli at all.’
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