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CJ Stander was part of the Ireland training squad at Carton House today

The Munster number eight qualifies under the residency rules.

MUNSTER HAVE CONFIRMED that number eight CJ Stander was part of the Ireland training camp in Carton House today.

A squad of close to 50 players convened near Maynooth last night for a 24-hour camp under Joe Schmidt as preparations for the Six Nations build.

CJ Stander Stander trained with Joe Schmidt's squad today. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

South African native Stander’s call-up was his first to an Ireland squad, having qualified to play for his adopted country under the three-year residency rule last November.

The 25-year-old was part of an 11-man Munster contingent at Carton House, while Ulster provided a further 11 players and Connacht had just four present in the shape of Ultan Dillane, Robbie Henshaw, Nathan White and Kieran Marmion.

Stander has been in superb form again this season for Munster, captaining the side in Peter O’Mahony’s injury-enforced absence, and some have tipped him to force his way into Ireland’s starting XV as early as the forthcoming Six Nations.

Ireland begin their campaign at home to Wales on 7 February, and Stander will have to force his way past Jamie Heaslip – one of those in contention for the captaincy after Paul O’Connell’s international retirement – if he is to claim his favoured number eight shirt.

Meanwhile, Munster say Conor Murray [hip], Donnacha Ryan [knee], Andrew Conway [bruised hip], Keith Earls [neck], and Dave Foley [dead leg] will be monitored this week as they look to return to action.

None of them have been ruled out of Saturday’s Champions Cup clash against Stade Français in Paris at this stage.

Munster have released centre Matt D’Arcy after the Clontarf man completed his three-month contract with the province.

- This article was updated at 18.35 to include Robbie Henshaw’s name in the fourth paragraph, after Kieran Marmion’s name was erroneously printed twice.

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Murray Kinsella

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