CJ Stander Proves He’s Not Human When Asked About Horrific Double Check & Eye Socket Fracture

Jason Hennessy

Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor here at RugbyLAD and a proud Limerick man.
Jason Hennessy

One or two out of ten.

CJ Stander is a man that will carry ball for you all day long. No matter the situation the Ireland number eight is always there to get his teammates out of trouble. He might not always make a lot of yards, but those crucial carries in the right moments have made him one of Ireland’s most important players.

He’s an absolute warrior of a man and plays more minutes every season that anyone else on the Irish team. He’s a constant figure that can always be relied on. And when the full story behind his horrific double cheek and eye socket fracture emerged – not too many people were surprised.

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Just three minutes in against England, Stander suffered the injury, yet played on until the 62nd. Even more remarkable is the fact that he finished the game with 20 tackles made from 20 attempted. Injury or not – you don’t get past CJ Stander.

But of course the question was asked after the game – why wasn’t he replaced sooner? The IRFU revealed soon afterwards this was because Stander didn’t report the problem initially. But why didn’t he report it? Did he not want to risk being forced off? Not at all. Apparently he didn’t think it was a bad injury at all. He though it was just a “normal” face hit and rated is as “one or two” out of ten on the pain scale.

“I blew my nose just after half-time and I could feel this little bump,” Stander said ahead of his return this weekend.

“I just spoke to the doc and he said, ‘It doesn’t look good’ and I was taken off after about 65 minutes.”

“Out of 10 this probably felt like a one or a two. It just felt like a normal face hit.”

But will Stander be a little more careful this weekend (he also broke his nose playing for Munster a few weeks back) against France after such a bad facial injury? Not on your life. He loves collisions too much.

“Look, I like those collisions,” he added

“I like running into someone and getting a good hit.”

“It’s a personal battle every time you run onto a pitch and when you get a good hit sometimes you go, ‘that’s a good f***ing hit man’ and I can’t wait for the next one to get someone else back.”

“There’s a feeling I get from carrying and tackling – I think all of us do, it’s a physical game and things can happen. We all love that feeling – it’s a good feeling, a bit of tingling in your stomach when you get a hit.”