Code-hopper Joseph Tomane says former Gold Coast Titans coach John Cartwright did his best to protect the players from the "glitter strip" – the squad was banned from nightclubs on Cavill Avenue in a bid to build a strong club culture.
ACT Brumbies and Wallabies winger Tomane has forged a successful rugby union career for the past four years after leaving the Titans to chase his dream of playing in a World Cup.
But his former club is in turmoil with six present and former Titans players caught in a cocaine scandal, which also includes Queensland Reds recruit Karmichael Hunt.
Tomane joined the Titans in 2010 but struggled to earn a regular NRL spot and left the club halfway through 2011.
"I never saw there was a problem ... I didn't know guys used [drugs] and I didn't know it was a problem," Tomane said.
"I can't really comment on what's happening now, but when I was there, the Gold Coast strip [of nightclubs] was forbidden ground for us.
"We were never allowed to go into Cavill Avenue and those places ... the club did a great job in managing that when [Cartwright] was there. That's why I never saw a problem, Cavill Avenue on a Saturday night was forbidden ground.
"When I was there, there were a lot of older guys with wives and families, so guys weren't into the party scene, I guess, and I was much the same."
Tomane has enjoyed a superb switch to rugby union, earning 14 Wallabies caps and establishing himself as a Brumbies star.
The powerful speedster has set his sights on a World Cup berth this year and Tomane's "ultimate goal" is to have Brumbies teammate Henry Speight as his wing partner in international rugby.
Tomane made his Wallabies debut in 2012 after just a handful of Super Rugby appearances and Speight joined him in the Test side last year.
But the pair are preparing for an intense wing battle with Australian rivals, including Nick "Honey Badger" Cummins, Rob Horne and James O'Connor.
"Our goal is to nail down both wing spots ... if we continue to perform well for the Brumbies, hopefully that helps us push our cause for both spots," Tomane said.
"I think it's safe to say it's our goal to be on opposite wings [for the Wallabies]. We've played together for four years now and have formed a really good partnership and relationship on and off the field. I'd be happy if he got picked and I didn't, but I'd be even more happy if we were both there."
The Brumbies will be desperate to beat the Rebels after suffering a devastating last-minute loss to the Waikato Chiefs last weekend.
Captain Stephen Moore is in the starting side for the first time this year after recovering from knee surgery while Jesse Mogg and Blake Enever have been added to the bench.
The Brumbies scored just one try against the Chiefs and Speight said they were still finding a balance between back-line attacking brilliance and a grinding forwards-orientated game plan.
"We got presented with the odd opportunity last week and we didn't execute," Speight said.
"It's just finding the balance and being able to take opportunities because the margins are very small."
Speight says friendly fire will drive himself and former "fro bro" Tomane to greater heights this year as they battle at training.
Cult hero Cummins is back in Australian rugby and will make his return to Super Rugby against the Brumbies next weekend.
"It's no secret that I always lift [against Cummins], but my eyes are on the job this week. There's a lot of competition for wingers in Australia now," Speight said.
"It will be weird [battling for selection with Tomane], but we push each other here and we become better players and better friends. We'll be happy for each other.
"I think [Tomane] misses being a fro bro. But his fro actually isn't that decent anyway. We've got healthy competition."
SUPER RUGBY ROUND THREE
Saturday: Melbourne Rebels v ACT Brumbies at AAMI Park, 7.40pm. TV time: Live on Fox Sports 2.
Brumbies team: 15. Robbie Coleman, 14. Henry Speight, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Christian Lealiifano, 11. Joseph Tomane, 10. Matt Toomua, 9. Nic White, 8. Ita Vaea. 7. Jarrad Butler, 6. Scott Fardy, 5. Sam Carter, 4. Rory Arnold, 3. Ben Alexander, 2. Stephen Moore, 1. Scott Sio. Reserves: 16. Josh Mann-Rea, 17. Ruan Smith, 18. Jean-Pierre Smith, 19. Blake Enever, 20. Jordan Smiler, 21. Michael Dowsett, 22. James Dargaville, 23. Jesse Mogg.