Angus Allen had to put down his tools, walked off a Throsby building site and then stepped straight into Canberra Vikings mode to talk up the National Rugby Championship finals.
It's the double life he's been living for the past two months, juggling work as a labourer, security guard and student with his rugby aspirations.
Clearly the critics of the NRC have forgotten about players like Allen, and a host of Vikings players desperate to prove themselves.
When the detractors say the competition is a waste of time, they don't take into account the eight-hour back-breaking shifts Allen works before training.
When they say it doesn't have a place in Australian rugby, they forget about the players who need game time and a platform to impress.
Allen is proof the NRC isn't about crowds or fractured relationships in club land. The NRC is about the players, which is why the 22-year-old spent his lunch break detailing his finals excitement on Tuesday.
"There have definitely been some tough stages. As a club player, working for eight hours and then coming to training and playing on weekends, it takes its toll," Allen said.
"But having the camaraderie and relationship with the boys makes it worth it.
"I've learnt a lot of things playing and training with the higher representative boys.
"I think it's a double-edge sword. It's good to have a distraction outside of rugby, but it takes its toll with exhaustion. [Playing Super Rugby] is the dream, that's why you put in the late nights and big days."
The Vikings will play the Fijian Drua in a grand final qualifier at Viking Park on Sunday.
Coach Nick Scrivener could be searching for a new captain to lead his side's pursuit of a maiden NRC title, with regular skipper Darcy Swain (broken thumb) ruled out for the season and his replacement Connal McInerney in doubt after injuring his knee.
The Vikings finished second on the ladder at the end of the regular season and can earn grand final hosting rights if the Western Force lose the first semi-final in Perth on Saturday.
Lachlan Lonergan looms as the man to take on the hooker duties if McInerney is unable to play, while Bayley Kuenzle and Noah Lolesio are competing for the No. 10 jersey.
Lolesio started the season as the chief playmaker, but an Achilles injury gave Kuenzle the opportunity he craved.
The pair will join schoolboy sensation Reesjan Pasitoa in a fight for the vacant ACT Brumbies' No. 10 role next season.
"It's been good ... it was nice to come off the bench at the start and work my way into it," Kuenzle said.
"I'm glad Scriv has backed me the last couple of games to start, hopefully I've proved myself and can get a start this weekend.
"Noah was playing well, but when my opportunity came I had to take it with both hands. It's good to have that competition, good to bounce ideas of each other and push each other to get better."
Kuenzle spent this season easing himself into full-time rugby, playing in Sydney's club competition to be closer to home before making the Canberra switch.
"I thought it would help me get ready for the NRC and Super Rugby," Kuenzle said.
"The NRC is a great stepping stone coming into club footy. It's really helped me ... it's another brand of footy. It's nice to play a bit more, I [hope] it sticks around."
The Vikings have lost just twice this season and will name their finals team on Thursday.
Sunday: Canberra Vikings v Fijian Drua at Viking Park, 3pm.