Stander leaves Bulls to join Munster
The Blue Bulls have revealed that loose forward CJ Stander will leave Pretoria to join Munster at the end of the South African season.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the three-time Super Rugby champions confirmed that Stander, who has been in outstanding form, has decided against taking the option to extend his contract after agreeing terms with the Irish province.
Stander was invited to train with the Springboks during the June Test series against England after being identified as a future international.
The 22-year-old will remain part of the Bulls' Super Rugby campaign and will be available to play for the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup.
His contract runs out on October 31st, whereafter he will move to Ireland.
Blue Bulls CEO Barend van Graan said that they were unable to match the current offer on the table from the Irish team.
"We identified CJ at schoolboy level already and he was part of our future planning at the Bulls. However we couldn't match the Munster offer - such is the reality of professional sport," said van Graan.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke wished Stander well in his decision.
"Quality players like CJ, who have also shown tremendous leadership abilities, don't come around very often and so it was not a surprise to hear about his overseas offer," said Ludeke.
"We would have loved to have had him with us well into the future, but it makes financial sense for CJ to accept the Munster offer. I have no doubt that CJ will continue to give everything he has throughout the remainder of our Super Rugby campaign as well as our Currie Cup season."
Stander has captained the Blue Bulls at U19 and U21 level as well as South Africa at U20 level.
He made his Super Rugby debut in 2012 and has played in all 13 Super Rugby matches for the Bulls this year.