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No retirement u-turn for CJ Stander following approach from the Bulls

Bulls coach Jake White revealed that the Ireland international has ruled out a return.

Stander will hang up his boots at the end of the season.
Stander will hang up his boots at the end of the season.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

CJ STANDER WILL definitively retire from professional rugby at the end of the season despite an overture from South African Super Rugby franchise the Bulls.

Bulls coach Jake White revealed that he spoke to Stander in a bid to convince him to return to the Bulls and lace up his boots for another season.

But the Ireland international told White that there will be no retirement u-turn. 

Stander, who started his pro career at the Bulls before leaving to join Munster in 2012, announced his shock retirement in March so that he and his family could spend more time in South Africa.

The 31-year-old said this week that he could carry on playing for seven or eight more years, sparking speculation about a return, but Stander told White that those comments were simply to reiterate that his retirement was for family rather that physical reasons.

“I made contact with CJ and let him know that I wanted him to be part of the Bulls,” White told South African news outlet Keo.

“He said he was flattered and humbled and appreciative that there was such an interest in him, but he confirmed that the Irish Rugby Union retirement policies didn’t allow for a return to professional rugby as it would compromise and prejudice any retirement fund payouts.

“He reiterated his love for rugby and that his decision was based on wanting his children to be near their family in South Africa and to experience their cousins, uncles, aunts and grand parents.”

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