All Blacks, Wallabies accept 'ice-bucket challenge'

Auckland (AFP) - The All Blacks and Wallabies are up for a new quest outside of Saturday's Rugby Championship encounter after being named by former Springboks great Joost van der Westhuizen to take an "ice bucket challenge".

The challenge, in which participants are doused in icy water, has swept the world as a way to raise awareness of motor neuron disease which van der Westhuizen suffers from.

The 1995 World Cup winning scrum-half was diagnosed in 2011 and is now confined to a wheelchair.

In a video released by his family this week, a frail Van der Westhuizen is seen laughing and smiling as friends and family dressed him in goggles and flippers before dousing him iceblocks and water.

The 43-year-old afterwards challenged the All Blacks and Wallabies to take part and both sides indicated Friday they were willing.

"It's a pretty terrible thing he's had to deal with. Everyday we're in the ice after training so we might have to do something like that. We're always up for a challenge," All Blacks captain Richie McCaw said ahead of the Auckland Test.

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie said his side has "taken that on board and we'll work something out".

Under the rules of an ice-bucket challenge, if a nomination is accepted and completed within 24 hours, the participant donates $10. But if the challenge is refused a nominee must donate $100 towards combatting motor neuron disease.

Money raised goes to the ALS Association, which combats amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Former US president George W. Bush took part this week, joining hundreds of celebrities worldwide including Steven Spielberg, Justin Bieber, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey and David Beckham.