To promote their coverage of the 2018 Super Rugby season, Fox Sports Australia have used a fictional movie character best known for being a violent drunk and a wife-beater.

Kiwi actor Temuera Morrison, who portrayed the troubled Jake the Muss in the 1994 hit film Once Were Warriors, stars in the 30-second advertisement - and seems to reprise at least part of the role.

The ad opens with Morrison saying: "Hey, Aussies. I don't want to put the hard word on you guys but are you ready to play some rugby?"

He proceeds to call out well-known Australian rugby figures like Will Genia, Michael Hooper and Bernard Foley, questioning their readiness for the new season.


About 10 seconds into the ad, Morrison questions Foley, to which the Wallabies and Waratahs first-five, seen lifting dumbells in the gym, responds: "Mate, I'm pumped".

In 2009 Morrison said that the character Jake the Muss still haunted him. Photo / File
In 2009 Morrison said that the character Jake the Muss still haunted him. Photo / File

Morrison replies with: "too much weights, not enough speed work", a clear reference to a scene from the movie in which Morrison's character assaults a man in a bar.

In the original scene, Jake the Muss is drinking beer with friends and a young woman walks up on stage to sing a song.

Not long after she starts singing, another man starts to play music over top of her, much to the disgust of Jake.

He walks over to the man and says, "Gee, where did those muscles come from bro? You been lifting those weights huh?"

"You wanna f*** with me?" the man replies, and the pair engage in a fight.

Jake destroys the man, kicking and punching him until he is left unconscious on the ground.

He then casually strolls back to his table and says to his mates, "too much weights, not enough speed work."

In 2009, Morrison revealed in his book From Haka to Hollywood that he was still haunted by the "demon" that was the character, Jake the Muss.

"I had to work hardest on Jake's anger, and now I think it's probably with me for life.

"There's a lot of torment left in there.

"When you go to these dark places inside you, for some reason things linger on.

"Maybe I need to go through some spiritual cleansing process to get rid of that guy," Morrison said in the book written by New Zealand journalist Paul Little.

The short reference is the only mention from the film to be portrayed in the short video advertisement.

Fox Sports Australia and Temuera Morrison's agent have been contacted by the Herald for comment.​