Last weekend was a strange one for CJ Stander as he tells the media on Thursday at the Ireland squad announcement in Carton House.
Two teams that he currently represents, Munster and Ireland, were both playing, yet he wasn’t involved. Munster secured an impressive win against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein while Ireland produced a second-half surge to obliterate Italy in Chicago.
Watching both games on television, Stander admits it was an odd experience but that he is now raring to go for Saturday as Argentina arrive to the Aviva Stadium.
“I was in Limerick watching Ireland play and then Munster play,” Stander said. “I felt like I was part of nothing last weekend, but got a good rest and was good to spend some time at home with the wife.
“Weekends is game time and you want to be out there and playing. The boys played so well, some of them really put their hands up and to get the score they did was really impressive.”
In terms of the rest that Stander was awarded, it was definitely put to good use as he admits that getting older requires weekends such as this.
“If you asked me that question five years ago, I would have said no,” Stander replied to whether he needed the rest. “But as you get older for sure. You need a break whenever you can get them and enjoy them.
“Make sure you get that break and the time with your family is important and if you don’t get that during the year as well, it’s probably a place you slip.”
With 465 minutes for Munster under Stander’s belt already this season, rest is extremely important but the 28-year-old is also looking into other areas to stay at the top of his game.
“I’ve changed a couple of things with recovery but the biggest thing I’ve done is bring in a part of pilates into my weekly routine.
“The guy I do it with is quite good, we have a one-on-one session and he knows when I look tired and when I don’t look tired, so he pushes me a bit more but I think it’s brought a bit more mobility to my body which is important as you get older.”
Stander has been named in the starting XV as Ireland take on Argentina at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.