Kevin Walters and Steve Renouf cooked up a storm on the field together and now they are doing it off the field as part of a vital program to boost the health of Indigenous communities.
The duo got together on Wednesday to cook up some healthy meat and vegetable rissoles at the launch of the Deadly Maroons 'Good Quick Tukka' program which continues the QRL’s partnership with the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) and its Deadly Choices program.
That program assits in promoting healthy lifestyle choices for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Queensland.
The Maroons coach wasn’t throwing Renouf the signature "out ball" from their Broncos days, but he was giving him some rissoles to cook up from a signature dish created by legendary female Indigenous athlete Bo De La Cruz, who represented Australia in touch football and Rugby Sevens
"I’ve teamed up with Pearl. I did a lot of his work on the field and now even off the field with some healthy rissoles that we are cooking up," Walters grinned.
He said the relationship with Deadly Choices was "a great" one as he joined with Maroons champions Petero Civoniceva and Willie Tonga, De La Cruz and Maroons women’s star Tallisha Harden at the launch at Davies Park in Brisbane.
"There have been some great Indigenous players for the Maroons way back to Arthur Beetson who was our captain in 1980," he said.
"For me the relationship is perfect and being a lifelong friend of Steve’s, as well as a lot of the boys here, it is going to be a wonderful and successful relationship which is what the Maroons and Deadly Choices is about.
"In my younger years I didn’t eat as healthy as I should have but I do now. It is is very important for all people to eat healthy and it does make a huge difference to their lifestyles."
As part of the Deadly Maroons program a 'Good Quick Tukka Cookbook' has been released with recipes from current Maroons players such as Michael Morgan, David Fifita and Dane Gagai.
Renouf said that the program, like all Deadly Choices initiatives, created positive outcomes in Indigenous communities.
"We kicked it off last year and it was just a perfect fit with what we are trying to achieve. We had other rugby league clubs on board but to get the Maroons on board is another level for us," he said.
"We have this partnership with the Maroons in the Origin period but it carries on for a couple of years with the positive effect that it has with our people.
"I was involved when 'Good Quick Tukka' was first started and is about giving our people ideas about good, healthy meals that you don’t have to spend too much time on. We also spread that out through our communities in our schools program and our 'Work it Out' program with our elders.”
Civoniceva, another Deadly Choices ambassador, has a recipe of his own in the cookbook called 'Petero’s Fruit Kebabs' and he was making a variation on that theme at the launch.
"I was making the fruit smoothies today which is always a popular drink at my house because I have four kids," he said.
"That is the great thing about the partnership. Obviously there is the great work that Deadly Choices does within the schools and these recipes are going to be a sure winner."