Ireland being written off by Springboks - Stander


CJ Stander has claimed Ireland are already being written off by South Africa ahead of their Test series in the country later this year.

Ireland ended an unsuccessful Six Nations campaign on Saturday with a 35-25 win over Scotland, ensuring third place in the table as they failed to make it three titles in a row.

Stander, who made his Ireland debut in the tournament opener with Wales, scored for the second successive game in last weekend's victory over Scotland.

Ireland will face South Africa in a three-Test series in June as they aim to win a Test match in the country for the first time.

A native South African who left his homeland to join Munster in 2012, back row Stander says Ireland's inability to stop England from winning the title and completing the Grand Slam is leading the Springboks to underestimate Joe Schmidt's side.

"I have the family in South Africa, and they keep me up to date with what's going on there," Stander said. "They are writing us off because of a few losses here and there, and because we weren't chasing the Six Nations title.

"In your head going down to South Africa it's going to be a big challenge, you're going to have to be very physical, they are big boys.

"They are a great team, and everyone knows that.

"But if you're written off and categorised as the underdogs, then that's always something extra to fight for, to prove that wrong.

"So there's both sides to the story."

The first match of the series between takes place on June 11 at Newlands in Cape Town.