Ireland’s triumphant players bade farewell to CJ Stander with a Tina Turner classic after he’d helped dismantle England on his Six Nations send-off.
South Africa-born Stander had stunned the rugby world on Tuesday by announcing plans to hang up his boots in the summer.
The 30-year-old then capped his fine 51-Test career for his adopted country with a fine performance in Saturday’s rampant 32-18 win over the 2019 World Cup finalists in Dublin.
It all left him in tears following the full-time whistle – and Ireland fullback Hugo Keenan revealed there were jubilant post-match scenes in the changing room, during which Stander received a tub-thumping tribute.
“It was a good buzz in fairness,” said Keenan. “Everyone’s happy. It was a great way to send CJ off, so we sang a song and it was enjoyable in there.”
Asked about the choice of tune, Keenan replied: “Simply the Best. It was good craic.”
Head coach Andy Farrell said after the third consecutive Championship success that Munster back-row forward Stander would be “a mate forever”.
An emotional Stander told Irish Rugby TV: “Dreams still do come true. I dreamt of playing in the jersey for a long while, I worked hard and everyone made it easy for me. The last few years have been special.
“Thanks to everyone for the game, for the send-off. It’s been a great week. I am looking forward to supporting this team from the stands with a pint of Guinness in my hand.”