Andy Farrell backs us to get stuck into England and his son Owen – CJ Stander

By Ed Elliot, PA
·2-min read

Ireland flanker CJ Stander is convinced he has the backing of Andy Farrell should he once again come to blows with the head coach’s son.

Stander delivered a series of strikes to the midriff of England captain Owen Farrell as he struggled to break free of his opponent during February’s Guinness Six Nations loss at Twickenham.

The former British and Irish Lions team-mates are set resume hostilities on Saturday when the Irish travel to London for an Autumn Nations Cup clash.

CJ Stander and Owen Farrell have been British and Irish Lions team-mates
CJ Stander and Owen Farrell have been British and Irish Lions team-mates (David Davies/PA)

While a less experienced player may have feared the wrath of his boss, Stander would have no qualms about becoming embroiled in another physical altercation with Farrell junior.

“On the pitch, it’s just like it’s another guy and you just want to get into them and do your thing. And afterwards there’s actually a few laughs,” he said.

“If I was a bit younger and a bit insecure, (I would think) I’m going to be in trouble here, but we’ve got a job to do.

“He (Farrell senior) is our head coach, he backs us and we back him. We go up against England and it’s us against them, so he backs us.”

England player Farrell appeared to spark the bizarre incident by refusing to release his grip on Stander’s right leg at a ruck.

Munster man Stander, who is poised to win his 44th cap this weekend, also had his shirt ripped off during an off-the-ball tussle with Maro Itoje that day and is anticipating another bruising encounter.

Maro Itoje and CJ Stander tussle at Twickenham
Maro Itoje and CJ Stander tussle at Twickenham (David Davies/PA)

“Those things happen in a game and especially against England, they try to get into the game that way,” said the South Africa-born 30-year-old.

“I think it’s down to each individual, there hasn’t really been a message (from the head coach), it’s just what you bring to the game and how you deal with that situation.

“If there’s a scuffle and I’m in there then I am backed by the team and so is everyone else.”