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Cautious CJ Stander keeps Ireland’s Six Nations champagne on ice

• Munster forward has missed out before
• He expects to face ‘23 angry Englishmen’

CJ Stander could be forgiven for mislaying the plot on Ireland’s history with the grand slam. In his excitement over being on the verge of the championship’s top prize he reckoned this kind of opportunity comes along once every 40 years. In 2009, when Ireland won their last – and second – clean sweep Stander was still in South Africa, not yet 19, and a distance removed from even a Currie Cup debut with the Bulls.

Last Saturday night, however, surrounded by team-mates and partners and watching the rest of the room wade into the post-match celebrations, the Munster No 8 was struggling to come to terms with it all.

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