Belfast Telegraph

Fatherhood has given Stander all new outlook

 

Another crack: CJ Stander says Munster are better equipped
Another crack: CJ Stander says Munster are better equipped

By Cian Tracey

Perspective comes in many forms and, for CJ Stander, becoming a father for the first time recently provided a fresh outlook on life.

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Gone are the days of sulking at home after a bad day at the office. Stander has too much on his hands in adjusting to the arrival of his daughter Everli.

It's something that an increasing amount of players have spoken about as they come to terms with having a lot more responsibility in their lives.

Being away in Japan for six weeks was tough for Stander, but coming back to his young family helped to ease the bitter disappointment.

"I'm a fresh dad but just thinking of the World Cup, after the quarters just trying to come back to get to the little one," he said.

"It gives you perspective, getting home, even training, a bad day, just to go home and she's four months old, she doesn't have a clue what's going on so she's smiling.

"I'm trying to be the best dad I can be and a husband as well so I've learned over the last few months that you can't take stuff home from your job.

"If I look back I probably took too much rugby back home and made it tough for myself.

"Now it's brought it back to me enjoying the game more, enjoying training more and enjoying being here because Munster is a special place and the people and the coaches are building a special thing here and I'm really excited again in my eighth year to be here and to be part of this team and this group."

Tomorrow's mouthwatering showdown with Saracens will provide Munster with a stern test and one which will tell a lot about how far along they are in what are still very early days of his particular journey.

Having failed to fire a shot against the champions in last season's semi-final, Stander believes his side are better equipped to do so this time around at Thomond Park.

"We've added to the depth in our squad, added some good players and we know how to manage games better," the No.8 maintained.

"Against a team like that who know how to drag it out of you for 80 minutes, we know how to control certain pressure points of theirs.

"I'm not going to tell you what they are but we know how to control certain pressure points better and convert opportunities into points.

"I think that mental battle is going to be massive during the week.

"We have to make sure that we train well and get our processes right and then just go out there and (implement them) when we get in those tough situations."

Munster vs Saracens

Champions Cup Pool Four:

Thomond Park, Saturday, 5.30pm

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