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CJ Stander signs new three-year IRFU contract to stay with Munster

By Steve Neville

Munster back-row CJ Stander has signed a new three-year contract with the IRFU.

The news was confirmed by Irish Rugby on Twitter and will come as a huge relief to Munster fans ahead of a busy festive period.

There had been fears Stander would leave the province, with the Irish Examiner reporting earlier this week that Top 14 outfit Montpellier had tabled an astonishing €840,000 a year offer to Stander.

Speaking on the IRFU website, Stander said: "Following a lot of speculation and unfounded articles in the media, I am delighted to announce that I have signed a new three-year contract with the IRFU through to 2021.

"My intention was always to stay with Munster and Ireland throughout this process having settled well in Limerick with my wife and within the Munster family.

"The coaching setup, ethos and work ethic within both camps is tremendous and I'm very excited at the prospect of playing my part in achieving great things through hard work and determination with both squads.

"My wife and I took a leap of faith and have made a lot of sacrifices to be here but it has all been worthwhile especially given how much of a privilege it is to wear the Munster and Ireland jerseys when given that responsibility. Ireland is a special country in which to live and play rugby and I'm fully aware of that.

"The Munster and Ireland fans have been fantastic to us since we arrived and my continued focus will be to do my best for them and both teams when called upon," added the 27-year-old.

Since making his Munster debut in 2012 against the Scarlets, Stander has earned 105 caps for the province, scoring 32 tries along the way.

To date, Stander has made 18 caps for Ireland and was a tourist with British and Irish Lions last summer.

The contract news comes on the back of captain Peter O’Mahony having recently signed a new deal that will keep at Thomond Park until 2021.

The province had feared both players could depart and Stander signing rounds off a successful period for Munster having come after back-to-back victories over Leicester in the Champions Cup.

Munster take on Leinster at home in the traditional St Stephen's Day fixture before facing Ulster and Connacht in the first week of January.