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The IRFU’s high performance director says they did everything they could to try and convince CJ Stander to sign a new contract.

Stander is set to retire from rugby this summer and return to his native South Africa after turning down an offer to stay with Munster and Ireland.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and behind closed doors games has hit the IRFU hard, with estimated losses of 65-million Euro over the last two years, but David Nucifora insists they made a strong offer to the back-row.

"We delivered an offer to CJ, and he came back and spoke with me, he was really appreciative of the offer he was given, and conveyed that to me personally," the Australia said at a media briefing today.

"So it certainly had nothing to do with the financial elements of the offer to CJ. He has been a valuable player to Irish rugby for a long time and we would have loved to seen him play on, but he made a personal decision around what was important to him. And we respect that.

"As I said before, all players make personal decisions. They have different things that motivate and drive them, and form the basis of their decisions. Money is one of them, but it's not the only thing that thy weigh up.

"Look, we're really disappointed that CJ won't be with us but he's been an unbelievable player for Munster and Ireland for many years and we obviously wish him the best, going forward."

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CJ Stander David Nucifora Ireland Munster

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