Former team-mate reveals the "incredible" role Anthony Foley played in CJ Stander's development 4 years ago

Former team-mate reveals the "incredible" role Anthony Foley played in CJ Stander's development

No surprise here.

CJ Stander has been a revelation since he broke into the Munster first team in 2013 and he's made the step-up to international level look easy.

The 26-year-old won the man-of-the-match (as per usual) in the demolition of Italy in the Six Nations on Saturday after scoring three tries and getting through a mountain of work.

Speaking on SportsJOE's new rugby podcast, The Hard Yards, ex-Munster and Ireland player Donncha O'Callaghan explained how Anthony Foley - who passed away last year - impacted Stander's rise after his arrival in Ireland back in 2012.

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"If I was to be completely honest, I think Munster was really good for CJ. I think Axel did an incredible job making him earn his stripes. If you look at his first season, he had to work very hard to get any game time and that kept him on a really short leash. I think that made him really hungry to push on so every time he got a chance, he knew he has to be brilliant.

"That's what he does now and he never takes the foot off the pedal because he's a guy that never wants to be complacent. He wants to improve and get better all the time. I do think that if he had come straight into the team and didn't have to fight, he mightn't have the sticking power that he has now within the national setup."

What is earned is valued.