Rugby Ireland’s CJ Stander declares himself fit for Russia

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Rugby CJ Stander, right, is ready to play his third match in 11 days at the World Cup (Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA)
CJ Stander, right, is ready to play his third match in 11 days at the World Cup (Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA)

CJ Stander has declared himself ready to play his third World Cup match in 11 days when Ireland face Russia in Kobe on Thursday.

Ireland named the same pack for their first two Pool A clashes, the 27-3 win over Scotland and Saturday’s stunning 19-12 loss to Japan.

Stander started both matches at number eight, and could be pressed back into service to take on the Russians.

Ulster’s Jordi Murphy has joined the squad after Jack Conan was ruled out of the tournament with a broken foot, while the versatile Tadhg Beirne could well feature at lock as Ireland rotate resources where possible this week.

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CJ Stander, right, with Ireland captain Rory Best, left, at the World Cup (Ashley Western/PA)

Asked if he is ready to throw himself straight back into battle after two gruelling encounters, Stander said: “Yes definitely, it’s the excitement of the World Cup.

“This is what you want to do when you’re growing up, thinking about being part of a World Cup.

“So yes, recovery-wise we’re being looked after really well, we’ve got training on Tuesday, so we’ve got to make sure the body’s ready. So if I’m selected I’m good to go again.”

Rob Kearney and Tadhg Furlong are expected to complete their head injury checks and be available to face Russia if required.

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Jordi Murphy, pictured, could be in line for quickfire action against Russia having joined up with the Ireland squad at the World Cup (Donall Farmer/PA)

Rhys Ruddock can be expected to start

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