CJ Stander named 2016 Player of the Year by Irish rugby writers

The South African born player has enjoyed a sensational start in the Irish jersey

CJ Stander

Image: Kamil Krzaczynski AP/Press Association Images

CJ Stander has capped off an impressive debut year for Ireland by collecting the 2016 Player of the Year award by Rugby Writers of Ireland.

Stander thrived for Ireland during the Six Nations when the side was struggling and brought that form into the November Series.

His only setback occurred during the summer when he returned to his homeland and was sent off during Ireland's clash with first clash South Africa. Redemption however, was achieved through Ireland's historical win over the All Blacks in Chicago. Stander helped his adopted nation storm their way to victory and end a 111-year wait for a win over New Zealand.

Stander also captained Munster in Peter O'Mahony's absence last season and was subsequently named the Irish province's 2015-16 player of the year.

The flanker was applauded for his efforts in learning the lyrics to Amhrán na bhFiann have been. Speaking on Off The Ball last night, he told Joe Molloy that a man from Australia helped him to sing the words phonetically while Donnacha Ryan helped him rehearse it in the lead-up to his debut start for Ireland against Wales.