SYDNEY - Injured captain Dave Dennis is certain the Waratahs have all the ingredients required to win an elusive first Super Rugby championship.
But just to be doubly sure, Dennis turned MasterChef on Tuesday and served up a few more.
Facing a third knee reconstruction that will rule him out for the rest of 2014, Dennis put his personal woes to the side and whipped up a gourmet breakfast for table-topping NSW and urged hungry teammates to complete the job without him.
"When I walked in the front gate this morning, there was this big menu board saying 'Denno's Cafe'," vice-captain Adam Ashley-Cooper said.
"It had a menu: poached eggs on toast, avocado and a green juice option.
"It also had a quote underneath, Denno's Daily Quote. It said something like, 'To help yourself through tough times, the only way you can help yourself is by helping someone else.'
Something like that.
"It was a Mark Twain quote. It was just awesome. It had a big impact. It was a big injection.
"But that's Denno ... that's the character of Denno."
Coach Michael Cheika agreed Dennis's gesture typified the skipper's selflessness.
"He was in early," Cheika said.
"He didn't tell anyone but we all turn up this morning and there's a big spread on and I think that's going to continue. So he's looking for a job on MasterChef or something, but that's just testament to the person that he's able to do that for his team."
Ashley-Cooper said the impromptu breakfast would help the Waratahs move on without their captain, who would go under the knife next Tuesday.
"It's sad to see your leader, a guy that's sacrificed a lot for the team over the last couple of years, miss out on an opportunity to play finals," he said.
"Certainly our goal over the last couple of years was to reach top two and we're a win away from that. So to have your leader and a really, really close friend to miss out on something pretty special is disappointing."