Best and Stander dedicate All Blacks win to Foley


Ireland captain Rory Best and flanker CJ Stander both dedicated Saturday's stunning win over New Zealand to former Munster coach Anthony Foley, who died this year.

Foley died suddenly at the age of 42 in Paris as he prepared to lead Munster in a European game.

Having earned 62 international caps in a decade-long Ireland career, Foley's passing was commemorated by Munster's representatives in the Ireland side forming a figure of eight - Foley's shirt number as a player - as the All Blacks performed the Haka.

Munster back-rower Stander was at the forefront of that formation and spoke fondly of his former coach post-match after a 40-29 win in Chicago ended the All Blacks' world-record 18-game winning run.

"We made a figure of eight; for me personally, [Conor] Murray and all the Munster boys to stand at the front, that was big," said Stander. 

"He meant so much to me, he was really the rock in my rugby the last four years.

"He showed me a lot about what he'd learned over the years. I think he pushed me to the next level."

Best added: "It was something that we just talked about, through the management, to the players.

"I think a lot's been made of the really sad news that Munster got a few weeks ago and this was the national team's first time together since his passing. So we felt that it was the right thing to do and then to put the Munster body to the front of that.

"It just felt like the right thing to do and it was our way, as an Irish national team, just to show a mark of respect to Axel [Foley] and his family."