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WATCH: A very emotional CJ Stander after his final Irish test

An emotional CJ Stander spoke to Virgin Media Sport after Ireland's 32-18 victory over England o...

An emotional CJ Stander spoke to Virgin Media Sport after Ireland's 32-18 victory over England on Saturday, after announcing his retirement earlier in the week.

Stander shocked many with the news of his retirement on Tuesday, being just 30-years-old with a lot of rugby left in him.

His retirement also caused some controversy in Ireland and abroad, particularly as he will be returning to South Africa after his retirement.

His emotions got the better of him after full time, though, as he broke down in tears, showing just how much the green jersey means to him.

Speaking to Virgin Media Sport after the game, Stander thanked his teammates and the supporters for making his 51st and final cap so memorable.

"[I am] just grateful," Stander said. "It was a massive team performance; everyone put their hands up for this week, we knew it was going to be a difficult week.

"For me, I am forever grateful! Dreams do come true and I worked hard for that jersey, to be in this jersey. The boys made it easy to be in it, week in and week out, to get up and perform for the team, the staff and for the greater public and supporters of Ireland.

"It has been a pleasure for me and my family. From the bottom of my heart, thank you very much for all of the messages and kind words. I haven't gotten through all of them, but it means a lot."


Stander suggested that the England victory was only the beginning for Ireland under Andy Farrell.

"There is a special team here," Stander said. "Things are going to happen for this team and it is going to be a privilege to watch them."

CJ Stander retirement match CJ Stander of Ireland is appluaded off the field following his side's victory the Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and England at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Stander left everything out there for the jersey

Ending his international career with a win, especially over England, meant a lot to the South African-born international. He just wished that he could have celebrated with his biggest supporters.

"I wanted to give everything for that jersey, because I feel that everything has been given to me that I needed to perform the last few years," Stander said.

"I just wish my family could be here, especially my wife and my daughter.

"And the supporters. We spoke about it at halftime, we said imagine that is the score when we were running in at half time, this place would have erupted.

"Those are the special days and I cannot wait fo them to come back; to be in the seats and cheering the boys on.

"If you are sitting at home tonight... thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the support, everything you have done for me and my family."

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CJ Stander England Ireland Retirement Six Nations South Africa