CJ Stander: Saracens dangerous in wake of salary cap saga

Munser number eight under no illusions of the threat posed by European champions

Munster’s CJ Stander is well aware of the threat posed by Saracens on Saturday. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Munster’s CJ Stander is well aware of the threat posed by Saracens on Saturday. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

 

CJ Stander believes that Saracens’ salary cap breaches will have no bearing on their clashes with the English champions over the next two weekends.

Saracens have been hit with a fine of more than £5m and a 35-point reduction which leaves them in serious relegation trouble for breaking their domestic salary cap.

But the breaches are confined to the Premiership and Stander, now in his eighth season with Munster, said they won’t impact on their crunch Heineken Champions Cup ties.

“If I played in their league I would have said, look, there is something different, but there is nothing in the European league that doesn’t give them that opportunity.

“So, it doesn’t really affect me and I cannot really look at what they do and what they, I can chat to a few friends I know there and people around but, for me, there is nothing I can do about it anyway.

“It’s something that’s in the game and I think they have enough problems and enough worries about it, so I am not going to add my worries to them,” said the 29-year old.

Stander has now amassed 136 appearances since his debut in November 2012, scoring 38 tries along the way, and is an old hand when it comes to these crunch European games.

CJ Stander tackles Billy Vunipola during the last Six Nations. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
CJ Stander tackles Billy Vunipola during the last Six Nations. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Stander, who took his international caps haul to 38 during the World Cup, said experience is key going into these back-to-back matches which will go a long way towards deciding the pool.

“I’d say European weeks everyone is cranked up, it’s the same level. I think the Racing game we had opportunities there where we could have let the game go and we came back and I think we fought unbelievably well to come back and get the draw.

“We are not saying we are happy with that draw, but to come back and fight like that but, look, this weekend is a European week for us, we are going up against the best.

“So, we want to go out there and play our game and make sure we do our stuff well during the first few days of the week and go out on the weekend and be physical and play a physical game because that is what they are going to bring.”

He is set to lock horns again against Billy Vunipola but has learned along the way he is better off concentrating on his own game than getted wrapped up in who he is facing.

“I have had many of them battles, he’s a great player, he brings a massive ball carry to the team and his defence has been good the last few years.

“For me, we are going up against Saracens, I cannot be looking at individual battles any more, I tried to when I was younger, but I don’t have the time anymore,” added the South African.

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