Wednesday 13 December 2017

Conor can look after himself - Stander

CJ Stander:
CJ Stander: "If you concentrate on stuff that is not in your control, the game is going to get away from you so we won’t concentrate on that at all this week" Photo: Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

CJ Stander says Ireland will not have to overly protect Conor Murray as the ongoing needle between the Munster and Glasgow sides continues to seep into the international arena.

However, the Munster man has admitted that he and his provincial colleagues did not do enough to secure the safety of their scrum-half in last month's fiery Champions Cup clash against many of Saturday's opponents.

"Nah, he's a player that looks after himself," says Stander.

"We just need to stick to getting the ball back from the ruck and make it easier for him to get the ball and let him play his game. If you concentrate on stuff that is not in your control, the game is going to get away from you so we won't concentrate on that at all this week.

"From a Munster side we let him a little bit down that weekend. We didn't look after him as much as we could. We all concentrate on our job and we know what we need to do. We will all make the ball available for him.

"He's a big man. He can look after himself but it's a different game, different team, so I think their mindset will be different."


Meanwhile, as Australian lock Mark Chisholm tentatively returned to Munster training after nearly 11 months out with concussion, Connacht second-row Ben Marshall became the latest to succumb after announcing his retirement at just 26.

"Unfortunately, my time as a player has come to an end earlier than I would have wished," the former Leinster player said.

"It has been a difficult time not being able to play since the injury but having had some time away from the game, I can appreciate how fortunate I've also been in my career."

All Black Sam Cane has said that his concussive tackle on Robbie Henshaw last November was "accidental".

"I managed to get his phone number the next day and flick him a text," said the back-row, who remarkably escaped without sanction.

"I did keep an eye to see how long he was out for so it's good to see him back playing.

"I anticipated he was going to move back into that space but Robbie did a pirouette on the spot, which is very rarely seen on a rugby field.

"As he did his body height dropped. I had already committed to the tackle and made contact to his head.

"I've had to deal with a couple of concussions myself and it's not a nice thing. So maybe we have to be a little smarter and not go in as forcefully as you'd like to.

"Rugby is about dominating collisions but if we are risking concussions then it's not really worth it."

Montpellier's Frans Steyn will appeal a four-week ban for a high tackle on Jonathan Sexton.

Irish Independent

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