A CHEF from Huddersfield served up tasty tucker for the Australian rugby league squad.

Afghan-born Rafi Maywand, who lives at Linthwaite, welcomed the Kangaroos to the Crown Plaza Hotel in Leeds.

Rafi, who is executive chef at the hotel, renewed old friendships with several of the players and coaching staff.

The team stopped at the hotel before their Tri-Nations Cup match against England at Hull.

Some of the players and coaches knew Rafi because he spent 14 years in Perth, Western Australia, where he ran three restaurants.

Two of the squad members and team doctor Hugh Hazzard visited Rafi at the hotel earlier this year, when the then Australian champions, the Canterbury Bulldogs, played Leeds Rhinos at Elland Road.

Said Rafi: "The Kangaroos were recommended to stay at the hotel after the Bulldogs were so well looked after.

"I have planned menus using local organic produce to provide them with plenty of energy for their matches."

Rafi was forced to flee Afghanistan in 1979, when the Soviet Union invaded the country.

He worked in Germany before moving to Australia when he was 17. He trained as a master chef and ran his own restaurants before coming to England.

He worked at the Travellers' Rest pub at Meltham before moving to the Leeds hotel.