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Stander hoping to follow Strauss’ lead and pull on Ireland jersey

THE Springbok invasion is continuing at pace after Munster's CJ Stander revealed he wants to follow in the footsteps of Richardt Strauss and play for Ireland.

Strauss won his first Ireland cap this month after qualifying through the three-year residency programme and Stander has also been signed as a 'special project player,' which sees players from other countries targeted and recruited.

Robbie Diack in Ulster is another South African who is now Irish qualified, while Ulster's New Zealand-born full-back Jared Payne will qualify next year.

Stander (below) will make his first start for Munster this weekend when they take on Glasgow at Thomond Park and will pack down beside James Coughlan, who is returning from a groin injury, in a back-row that will also contain Tommy O'Donnell.

Irish internationals Keith Earls, Ronan O'Gara, Donncha O'Callaghan, Donnacha Ryan and Dave Kilcoyne are also included, as is Simon Zebo, who is named on the wing and not at full-back, where he played for Ireland.

Irish Independent