The need to stay fit during Covid-19 lockdown nearly ended in disaster for All Black Sam Whitelock, escaping injury using an improvised chin up bar.
Whitelock, 31, was playing in Japan when the world went into sporting shutdown earlier this year, on sabbatical with the Panasonic Wild Knights.
Returning to New Zealand, Whitelock was tasked with keeping himself fit and ready for a return to rugby, resorting to a home gym on his farm to stay in shape.
"In Japan, we'd had a month of lockdown, but we were still allowed to go to the club and train," Whitelock said.
"Chris King and I teamed up and tried to get real big and strong, and then we came back here. We kind of had a pre-season to lead in.
"I really enjoyed the challenges of being on the farm, I kind of had to make a home gym.
"It would be a little bit different to what people experience. I managed to find some steel and iron, and made a bit of a system, and managed to get a bit of it done.
"I must admit, I made a bit of a chin up bar, got up in the tree and started doing a few chin ups, but then the bar snapped on me and I fell out of the tree.
"It was a bit challenging but [I] enjoyed doing something different while hopefully staying strong and fit."
However, the double World Cup winner's near miss earned him no sympathy from his wife, Hannah.
"It was quite funny, my wife was watching and she was giggling away."
Whitelock's home workouts will have kept him in good stead for the launch of the new Super Rugby Aotearoa, where he'll turn out for the Crusaders.