Sam Cane has shared a moving message to drought-stricken Hawke's Bay farmers, encouraging them to "hang tough".
The region is facing the worst drought in living memory, with farmers under huge pressure as they struggle with bare paddocks and hungry stock.
In a video shared on Facebook, the All Black captain had some words of support for farmers and those battling the dry conditions in the area.
"I know it's a heck of a tough time at the moment," said Cane, who himself grew up on a farm in Reporoa.
"Just hang tough, things will get better - they have to."
The video was shared online by Hugh Renton, whose father Paul, a Hawke's Bay farmer, passed away in 2017.
"Rugby and farming are intertwined in New Zealand culture," Renton wrote in a post on Facebook accompanying the video. "Both suffer droughts from time to time. It is important that during those hard times we support, inspire and lift one another up."
Cane said although he wasn't in Hawke's Bay "in the face of it", he remembered his own difficult experience recovering from a neck injury.
"The things that helped me were setting small goals and focusing on the things that I could control each day," he said.
"Unfortunately for you fellas you can't control the weather so that's not one of them. But I encourage you to focus on those things that you do have control over and set some small goals every day."
He also urged farmers to have a coffee or beer with a mate and talk about their difficulties.
"Look after each other, hang in there, keep getting up each day and as Paul Renton would say 'keep doing a darn good job'."