tawera Nikau is an exceptional athlete and veteran of international rugby league at the highest levels, with a faithful following of fans in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. His career on the field has been spectacular, but events off the field have created an air of intrigue, especially his well-documented antagonism towards fellow Kiwi international Richie Blackmore - to the extent that he refused a spot on the New Zealand team if it meant playing alongside Blackmore. the tragic suicide of his wife, Lutetia and his recent motorcycle accident which resulted in the amputation of his right leg, have seen him occupy more than a few headlines. Undaunted, he has risen above his own personal loss and tragedy to become an inspirational figure, through his fight back to physical fitness and competitive sport, setting himself a personal goal to become a Paralympian, to his work with troubled youth in his hometown of Huntley, NZ, through the funding and establishment of a gym and training facility. He is also giving something back to league, and is coaching a Huntley-based team in the national league competition in 2004. His story of life at the top of his sport, and the personal cost of his career and the challenges he has had to overcome, make for a gripping and revealing biography of an inspirational New Zealander.
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