“I Cooked The Eggs In The Kettle” – CJ Stander’s Hilarious First Week In Ireland With Little Cash

Humble beginnings.

Munster and Ireland back-rower CJ Stander was a guest on the Late Late Show last night as he gets set to bid farewell to his club and adopted country at the end of the season.

Stander made the shock announcement a few months back that he would be leaving Ireland and returning to South Africa at the end of the season, retiring from the game in the process to spend more time with his family.

His appearance last night reminded us why so many people warmed to the powerful number eight almost instantly when he arrived back in 2012 as he recalled his time in a red and green jersey.

He may be a veteran at this stage, having played half a century of games for Ireland and toured with the British and Irish Lions but in the beginning, it was tough for Stander.

The 30-year-old arrived in Ireland with just €1000 to his name 9 years ago.

“I was very innocent [when I first arrived],” Stander said.

“I got lost in Amsterdam, I almost tried to leave the building then a guy guided me to where the gate was, I had never flown by myself.

“With a team, everyone is leading you and I didn’t have a lot of English so I was struggling. I was struggling a lot.

“[I came over with] €1000 to be exact. 14,000 Rand. I could have asked the family but I had just got a fiance and I wanted to be my own man coming over.”

He was put up in the Castletroy Park Hotel for his first week here but was conscious he needed to be frugal with the little cash he had. Even though he didn’t need to be…

“My first week, when I arrived our manager at Munster, drove me from Cork to Limerick and put me in the Castletroy Park Hotel,” Stander continued.

I had an unbelievable stay but I knew I only had €1000 and I needed to get a house with my fiance Jean-Marie coming over in a few weeks and I wanted to be set up, so I was trying to save money.

“So I went across to the local shop and bought eggs, I think it was a 12-pack, I can’t remember. And some noodles. The cheapest things I could find and understand!

“I went back to the hotel room then and cooked the eggs in the kettle and poured water over the noodles and that was my dinner for five days. I’d eat three or four plates of food at lunch after training and the lads were like ‘man this guy, he can eat like! He’s gonna blow up!’

“I walked down to reception then after my last day at the hotel and the lady goes ‘did you enjoy the facilities at the pool and the spa?’ and I was like ‘ah no I didn’t want to pay for it’ and she was like ‘no, it’s all complimentary!’ – I missed the boat!.

“And there was this unbelievable restaurant, I’d seen guys having steak and Guinness… and then she goes ‘did you enjoy the complimentary breakfast, lunch, and dinner?’ And I was like…. ahhhhhhh.

“I went outside and the manager was laughing at me and said ‘we actually paid for everything!’ And I was like ‘can I have the money back please!’”

Absolutely brilliant. What a legend.