Movie star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is the latest to lend his support to injured Wellington rugby player Seti Tafua, describing him as an inspiration.
Tafua, who was left paralysed in June after suffering a spinal injury while playing for his Sydney club Northern Suburbs, has been recovering in a hospital across the Tasman.
He is due to return to New Zealand next week to continue his rehabilitation and vows he will walk again.
Fundraising efforts in both Australia and New Zealand have been organised with several high-profile sporting stars such as Victor Vito and Nathan Hindmarsh getting behind Tafua.
But his latest message of support is perhaps the most famous, coming from movie and wrestling star The Rock.
Former Poneke team-mate and family friend Evan Belford has been behind the fundraising efforts in New Zealand and said the message from Johnson came through his friend Nic Fitisemanu who heard about Tafua's situation.
Mr Fitisemanu, also from Wellington and an ex Northern Suburbs player, is a relation of Johnson and asked his uncle and aunt to see if he would record a message.
Mr Fitisemanu said Johnson was touched by Tafua's story and took time out of shooting his latest movie in London to record the message.
In the video Johnson tells Tafua's to "stay strong and keep fighting" and says he is an inspiration to everyone around him.
Several Trade Me auctions, including signed sporting jerseys and a date with Crowd Goes Wild reporter Meghan Mutrie, are currently running.
- The Dominion Post
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