“During the lockdown, I did a stocktake of what matters most to me in life.”
CJ Stander has announced that he will retire from professional rugby this summer at the age of 31.
The back-rower had given no indication that he was planning to retire up until this point, as Stander has been in an excellent form for both Munster and Ireland in recent times.
Stander, who turns 31 next month, has said that he will be available for Munster for the rest of the season, and will be available for Ireland until after the mid-year test window.
All professional sports people are told “you will know when the time is right to hang up your boots”. It’s a sentiment one cannot fully comprehend until that day arrives.
For me, that time has come, and I hereby publicly announce my retirement from all forms of rugby. pic.twitter.com/KK5zgWC0O1
— C J Stander (@CJStander) March 16, 2021
The Munster and Ireland player announced his decision on Twitter, explaining why he came to the decision to hang up his boots at the end of the current season.
CJ Stander announces retirement from rugby: ‘The time has come.’
“All professional sports people are told ‘you will know when the time is right to hang up your boots’. It’s a sentiment one cannot fully comprehend until that day arrives.
“For me, that time has come, and I hereby publicly announce my retirement from all forms of rugby. I will be available to represent Munster until 27 June 2021 when my contract expires, and for International duty, until the end of the mid-year Test window.
“During the lockdown, I did a stocktake of what matters most to me in life. My faith, family and this incredible game I have played since I was six years old easily topped the list.
CJ Stander retirement statement.
“However, I came to the realisation that my commitment to rugby has started to take an unfair toll on my family, who both in Limerick and South Africa have made considerable sacrifices for more than 25 years to allow me to live my dream.
“I am not saddened by my decision. I’ve had a full and utterly enjoyable rugby career, and I can now look back on a journey that offered me rewards, memories and surprises beyond anything I could have scripted for myself.
“I wouldn’t change a thing. The 150 matches I played for Munster were some of the most precious and formative experiences of my life. My blood will remain Munster Red long after I have said my goodbyes to the people of Limerick.”
Stander will be sorely missed by both Munster and Ireland upon his retirement.
You can read his full statement below.