Rugby players who have suffered paralysing injuries are being supported by the royalties of a cookbook featuring recipes from past and present All Blacks.
The NZ Rugby Kitchen cookbook includes recipes from 17 All Blacks, dozens of Super 15 players and rugby figureheads including Sir Colin Meads and the late Sir Wilson Whineray.
It is in celebration of the New Zealand Rugby Foundation's 25th anniversary.
The foundation has provided critically injured rugby players with emotional and financial support since 1986.
Four amateur rugby players, all younger than 20, suffered devastating spinal injuries last year.
Only one will walk again.
Last year also marked the end of a 10-year streak without a serious spinal injury when a 15-year-old front-row player was injured in a scrum.
New Zealand Rugby Foundation chief executive Lisa Kingi says the injuries are a harsh reality of the game.
"No-one ever wants to consider the unimaginable to permanently lose their mobility due to a rugby accident.
"But sadly it does occur. Rugby is a contact sport," Ms Kingi says.
Readers may be surprised to find the recipes are not all carb-heavy man food. Yes the good old boil up and lasagne do make appearances courtesy of All Blacks Piri Weepu and Dan Carter. But dishes like salmon sashimi and roast snapper with Israeli couscous give the book culinary balance.
Former All Black and North Shore resident Jerome Kaino has supplied his beloved banana cake recipe for the cookbook.
Kaino's take on Jo Seagar's family favourite uses natural yoghurt to make the cake moist and a creamy lemon icing that could be the secret behind his energetic bursts in the loose forwards.
If there is any truth to the saying "the key to a man's heart is through his stomach" then women should be lining up for a copy of this gem.
We have four copies of the NZ Rugby Kitchen cookbook to give away.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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