Little substance in CJ Stander to Bordeaux-Bègles rumours

Ireland number eight among players whose contracts are up for renewal this season

CJ Stander is not set to leave Munster for Bordeaux-Bègles. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The rumour mill is liable to go into overdrive in light of seven IRFU-contracted players being among the 90 or so players whose contracts came up for renewal after the turn of the year, but reports linking CJ Stander with Bordeaux-Bègles appear to be premature.

The Munster and Irish number eight, whose contract expires next summer, has been linked with the Top14 side in light of Bordeaux being set to lose two players in that position at the end of this season, namely Scott Higginbotham and Marco Tauleigne.

However both French and Irish sources have disputed the likelihood of Stander joining Bordeaux, not least as the Top 14 club have apparently signed Louis Picamoles from Montpellier as well as another number eight from the ProD2.

Furthermore, although Bordeaux have apparently been in contact with Stander’s agent, the club are not inclined to sign an Irish-qualified player, whose value generally to Top14 outfits is not as prized as it once was given the need to play more French-qualified players. Nor are Bordeaux big payers akin to other Top 14 clubs with wealthy benefactors.


Still only 30, the tough and durable Stander has proved excellent value for his province and the IRFU. Now in his ninth season in Irish rugby, last week he played his 150th game for Munster and he has played 46 times for Ireland, as well as representing the Lions four years ago in New Zealand when coming on in the third Test.

He may have suitors, but as was the case when Montpellier were wrongly linked with him three years ago before he declared “my intention was always to stay”, Bordeaux do not appear to be one of them.

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley is Rugby Correspondent of The Irish Times