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Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

16.32 18 Nov 2020


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CJ Stander has vowed to prove to his former Munster director of rugby that Ireland are not "softies". 

The documentary Chasing The Sun which told the tale of South Africa's World Cup win of 2019 caught Rassie Erasmus talking down the intensity of the Ireland pack.

"They are not softies, they're not like Ireland", Erasmus told his Springboks ahead of their semi-final with Wales.

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The charge was put to Stander, who worked under Erasmus at Munster, ahead of Saturday's Autumn Nations Cup game with England at Twickenham.

"It's a bit of a challenge, you know, because if that is his view and that's what he believes I would like to - not really prove him wrong - but I'd like to show him what we can do and what we've done before," the South African-born back-row said.

"That is a big statement to make, and he put it out there.

"So that's his prerogative, that's his thought of us.

"It's not going to be easy to change his view, but luckily we're not playing against them this weekend. We'll get them at some stage."

However, Stander's warned that Saturday's game won't be won or lost by physicality alone.

The Munster man got dragged into some off-the-ball unpleasantness with both Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell in February's Six Nations game.

It was a match England dominated, and went on to win 24-12 en route to the Championship.

Stander admits he needs to keep things on an even keel this time around.

"Look, those things happen in a game," he said, "especially against England, they try to get in the game that way.

"It's down to each individual, there hasn't really been a message, it's just what you bring to the game and how you deal with the situation.

"If there's a scuffle and I'm in the middle of it, I know I'm backed by the team and so does everybody else."

The Tight Five | England-Ireland talking points with Neil Treacy


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