• Stander honoured with Munster award

    South African-born No 8 CJ Stander capped an excellent season by being named as Munster’s Player of the Season and was shortlisted for the Six Nations Player of the Season award.

    Stander, who has become synonymous with the Munster Red and Irish Green, has been a rock in all competitions he has played in and was a thoroughly deserved winner at Munster’s annual rugby awards.

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    This is the third time in six years that Stander has been named as Munster’s Player of the Year.

    ‘Once again CJ Stander raises the bar as he is awarded the Munster Rugby Men’s Player of the Year for a record third time in six years,’ the Munster website noted.

    ‘In making 11 starts, the 30-year-old captained the province on two occasions and produced a player-of-the-match performance against Saracens in Thomond Park in December.

    ‘A standout performer on every occasion, CJ topped the charts for carries in the Champions Cup with 120 carries after the six pool games.

    ‘Stander’s performances never dip with an incredible work ethic at provincial and international level, he is once again deservedly named the Men’s Player of the Year.’

    Then Stander’s name was added to the shortlist for the Six Nations Player of the Year, even though Ireland fell short of the overall title.

    France have three players on the shortlist, with Gregory Alldritt, Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack taking up half the nominees, while Maro Itoje and Ben Youngs are also in contention.

    Stander was man of the match in Ireland’s opening two wins against Scotland and Wales, going on to finish the championship having made more carries (77) and won more turnovers (six) than any other player.

    Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile