Cape Town – Ireland blindside flanker CJ Stander is expecting a hostile reception in South Africa when his team play the Springboks.
The three-match Test series gets underway at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town next weekend and Stander is ready for the challenge that awaits him and his team.
Stander captained the South Africa U20 team but decided to move to Ireland in 2012 and after some fantastic performances for Munster he was selected to represent his adopted nation after completing his three-year residency.
This will be the first time that Stander will be facing his home country and he told the Irish independent that he cannot wait to run out onto the field in front of friends and family.
“Just going out there and playing against the Springboks, I’m excited about this. They’re going to be massive games, some of the biggest of my career,” said Stander.
“I have to look after myself and the team, you have to play your game and not really go out to try and prove a point.”
Stander added that he is expecting South Africa to target him and give him a typical welcome home.
“I’m not a fly-half or a scrum-half or a centre, to really be targeted to make a difference in the game,” he said.
“I’ll probably get a few words, a few digs but those guys have a new coach, new structures and their game is going to be in their heads. They have to concentrate on themselves.
“It’s the same to me, I’m concentrating on myself. I’ll probably get a few nasty Afrikaans words, but I can understand and shrug it off.”