Sonny Bill Williams has opened up about fasting while in lockdown in the UK.
Williams' return to rugby league with the Toronto Wolfpack has been on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, but it's given the former All Black more time plan his training schedule during Ramadan – when Muslims around the world fast during daylight hours.
He says not having regular team training has enabled him to adjust his training routine around breaking his fast.
"When I was playing I was having to train a lot during the day back in New Zealand," Williams told Treated.com.
"So I couldn't really structure my day around Iftar (time each day when the fast is broken). So what I'm doing now is one or two hours, depending on how hard the session is, before Iftar."
The 34-year-old said he has gotten a lot more relaxed about his fasting, which has come with experience.
"I'll get asked by athletes a lot, what should I eat, what time should I eat, what type of food, when or if I should eat carbs, that type of stuff. When I first started getting into Ramadan from an athlete's point of view I was really scientific.
"Last year I just left it up to Allah and said to myself I'm going to eat when I'm going to eat."
Williams said one of the lessons he's learned is not to eat too much before a big game.
"Funny story – last year I actually fell asleep on the team bus going to the game. I broke fast just before I hopped on the bus to go to the game, and I had a bit too much.
"Your energy is zapped after you eat too much, so I fell asleep heading into Eden Park before the big game. So I learned [that lesson] early."
Williams admits he does miss some of the food back home, his favourite of which is "island food".
"The raw fish, we call it oka. We have a dish called chop suey, we have a potato called taro that I don't really eat that much. But the meal I probably miss the most is oka with chop suey."
The second rower thanked fans for their support and insisted the team will be ready when the league is able to restart.
"The competition will come back soon. And, God willing, we can carry on our form from the last game.
"We're training hard. We're working hard. Even though I'm enjoying myself at home with my family, I'm still training every day besides one day a week, and still looking forward to getting back out there and playing some good footy. I know all the other lads are in the same boat."