MILAN - All Black Andrew Hore summed it up best in his laconic, deadpan way.
"I wish I'd taken up modelling earlier," he said, grabbing a beer to cool off.
This was as he trailed two of Italy's most beautiful women, six Italian model wannabes and a few bemused but beaming All Blacks as the cameras went berserk.
For halfback Andy Ellis, his test rugby comeback before 80,000 people at San Siro on Sunday (NZT) will be a breeze compared to this.
"Very intimidating," he exhaled as a stunning six-foot-tall contestant on Italy's Next Top Model television show gazed at close range at his cooking prowess.
Hore, Ellis, Anthony Boric, Ma'a Nonu and Mils Muliaina joined in the fun at a restaurant next door to their Milan hotel, as guests for the cooking segment of Italy's Next Top Model.
Russian-born supermodel Natasha Stefanenko, the show's host, ushered the All Blacks into line for the photo shoot while Italy's Sky Sports rugby presenter Ilaria D'Amico tended to put the rugby blokes in the background as the photographers jostled for limited space to snap the former model.
Quite how the five players were chosen from the squad of 33 remained a mystery but there were reportedly some envious enquiries back at the team hotel.
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise did their bit by luring the All Blacks for the show as they promoted the country with an array of Kiwi food and wines.
All Blacks coach Graham Henry was the guest judge - of the cooking, not the modelling - having earlier predicted it would be a "stimulating" assignment.