South African-born Ireland loose forward CJ Stander has responded to what former Springbok coach Rassie Erasmas said of the Irish forwards.
Erasmus, who guided the Springboks to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, stepped down from the role following their 32-12 victory over England in the final in Yokohama.
Erasmus, who these days is the Director of Rugby at SA Rugby with Jacques Nienaber fulfilling the role of national coach, called the Ireland pack “soft”.
“I would like to, not really prove him wrong, but I’d like to show him what we can do and what we have done before,” said Stander when asked about Erasmus’ comment in the ‘Chasing the Sun’ documentary.
Erasmus was describing Wales as “tough f**kers” ahead of last year’s World Cup semi-final (a match the Springboks won 19-16) in comparison to his perceived flaws of Ireland and England.
“That is a big statement to make,” continued Stander, who captained the South Africa Under-20 side in 2010.
“He (Erasmus) put it out there so, you know, that’s his prerogative. That’s what he thought of us. It is not going to be easy to change his view but, luckily, we are not playing against them this week. We will get them at some stage.”
Ireland, are, ironically, coming off a 32-9 drubbing of Wales in their opening Autumn Nations Cup match.
The Irish face a tough assignment against England at Twickenham on Saturday, but will surely not lack motivation with Erasmus’ words still ringing in their ears.
Kick-off is at 17:00 SA time (GMT +2).
Stander, 30, who was born in George in the Western Cape, has played 43 Tests for his adopted country and a single match for the British & Irish Lions.
He’s expected to play a major role in the British & Irish Lions’ team to tour South African in mid-2021.