The Sydney Roosters had a San Francisco 49er in their gym this week – but despite constant speculation linking him to the red, white and blue it wasn't former NRL superstar Jarryd Hayne.
Brandon Thomas, a 145-kilogram offensive guard, flew out of Sydney on Wednesday after spending his honeymoon in Australia. And, while his wife Colleen toured the Opera House on Monday, he hit the NRL club's gymnasium at Moore Park, stunning the likes of tough forward Boyd Cordner with his sheer strength.
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"He did a 180-kilo bench press and punched it up four times, as though it was a warm-up set," said Hayden Knowles, a member of the Roosters coaching staff.
"It was ridiculous. I emailed his coach to say we loved having him, we loved seeing him punch out big weights, but we especially loved his commitment to do that on his honeymoon."
Thomas, who is in his third season with the 49ers, has good reason to ensure he returns to pre-season training in peak physical condition after his first two years at the NFL franchise were frustrated by injury.
He tore his ACL in 2014 and last season he suffered a high ankle strain that sidelined him.
After San Francisco recruited Zane Beadles from the Jacksonville Jaguars, it is expected Thomas will now compete with Andrew Tiller, Marcus Martin and Ian Silberman for the 49ers' vacancy at left guard.
"Brandon said he's determined to make the starting team this year, and it is a massive statement that he's doing everything possible to achieve that goal while he's on his honeymoon," said Knowles.
Thomas linked up with the Roosters after Knowles and his business partner Craig Catterick – a member of the Australian rugby league team's support staff – formed a relationship with the 49ers during their fact-finding mission in America, which coincided with Hayne's arrival at the famous NFL team.
The hulking American footballer hit Instagram not long after his training session to thank the Roosters, but he also wisely let his wife know how much he appreciated her giving him a leave pass.
"And most importantly I want to thank my wife @colleen_julia for knowing how important it is for me to train and being okay with letting me workout on our honeymoon," he wrote.
Meanwhile, Hayne – who has made it clear on a number of occasions he has no intention to return to the NRL, despite the constant speculation – returns to San Francisco this week to build on his 2015 rookie season, in which, despite never having played the American game before, he played in eight games.