JARED Waerea-Hargreaves is one of the most intimidating forces in the NRL, and it won't come as any comfort to opposition players to learn he went on a raw meat diet earlier this year.
The beefed up 24-year-old took on a diet of raw food, including meat, for 14 days as part of a detox program implemented by the Sydney Roosters.
Some of his teammates lost too much weight or couldn't cope without a cooked meal, meaning only six completed the course.
Waerea-Hargreaves was one who did.
He started at 122kg and dropped to 110kg in just 14 days and, despite an extreme weight loss, said he felt more energetic afterwards.
"It was a challenge, a tough challenge," he said.
"But I enjoyed it. Mentally I didn't believe I could do it, but I stuck at it. A lot of guys didn't have the willpower to do it.
"You can get sick, which everyone did after four or five days, but you get through that and you actually feel 1000 times better. You feel fresh and have a lot more energy."
It prompted a number of quizzical looks, not least of all when he ordered raw food at a restaurant or started chowing down on meat straight from the fridge.
But it also opened up a number of different options on the menu, and a handful of friends, including his partner, also joined him.
"You can actually make nice meals and put a few ideas together, like steak tartare," he said.
"I tried not to think of it as food, more as fuel. I had never thought I could stomach 10 raw eggs a day. It's pretty insane."
Regarded as one of the toughest forwards in the game, Waerea-Hargreaves admitted his intimidation factor has seen him in trouble with the judiciary, but his raw agression might just be an x-factor against the star-studded Australian side in Canberra tonight.
After being dropped for last October's one-off Test against the Kangaroos in Townsville, the big Kiwi certainly won't lack motivation this time around.
"I was pretty pissed, actually," he said, not mincing his words.
"I tried to give it my all last year ... I bleed black. I have done everything I can to get back in that black jumper."
Everything it seems, including eating raw meat.
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