Joe Tapine is using the New Zealand camp to make himself a better leader for the Canberra Raiders.
Tapine returns from a one-game suspension to slot in at lock for the Kiwis against Great Britain at Eden Park on Saturday.
It will be his 10th Test for New Zealand, having been forced to watch the loss to Australia from the stands.
He was given a one-game suspension for a careless high-tackle on Sydney lock Victor Radley in the NRL grand final.
Tapine played for the Kiwis in the World Cup 9s and has been itching to pull on the black jersey again.
He revealed he's using his time in camp working on his leadership.
It's something that will benefit the Green Machine when he returns for pre-season in the New Year.
"I'm still trying to open up and talk in camp," Tapine said.
"I want to improve myself in leadership stuff so I can bring it back to clubland too. I'm working on myself through the Kiwis."
Between the end of the NRL season and the Kiwis, Tapine also squeezed in his wedding.
He said it went perfectly - although he's had to put off the honeymoon.
And with a few more weddings to go to this year, he might have to wait until the end of the the 2020 season before he has one.
While he said marrying wife Kirsten had put him in a good headspace, the pain of the grand final loss was still there.
"Not over it, just brought other good emotions back into the head," Tapine said of the wedding.
"I still struggle when I think about that game now, but you've just got to, not move on, but learn from it.
"That's what I think will help our team next year."
That Raiders team comprises of three of the Lions he'll be facing on Saturday.
He'll come up against fellow Raiders Josh Hodgson, Elliott Whitehead and John Bateman.
Tapine said the fact they're allies in clubland won't stop him from giving some tips to his Kiwis teammates.
He felt Tonga made New Zealand's job harder by knocking off Great Britain 14-6 last weekend.
The positive was it had given them a blueprint of how to slay the Lions.
"Yeah definitely. They're going to come out firing this week after that loss," Tapine said.
"That was a great game. Tonga just ran hard and held the ball.
"Great Britain had great defence, but Tonga were just relentless.
"That's what we've got to try and do this week. Just try and replicate that and try and weather the storm when it comes."
The Lions Test is part of a triple header at Eden Park, with Samoa taking on Fiji and Australia playing Tonga as well.
It's also the venue for an historic NRL-Super Rugby double header.
As revealed by The Canberra Times, the Raiders will take on the New Zealand Warriors before the ACT Brumbies face the Auckland Blues on March 21.
Wellington-born Tapine was looking forward to the chance to be part of the creating history.
"I reckon that's cool. It'll bring in a different crowd, especially as New Zealand's union dominated," he said.
"It'll bring more union people to come watch league and maybe even switch codes. That's pretty cool."
Tapine was full of praise for Raiders fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad's Kiwis debut - especially given he had to switch positions.
The 24-year-old spent the NRL season wearing the No.1 jersey, but given Roger Tuivasa-Sheck wears that for New Zealand he's slotted in at centre.
"He went well. Especially at centre," Tapine said.
"He's played fullback all year and to get chucked into centre for a Test match against Australia that's a big ask and I think he really filled that spot really well and did his job for the boys."
RUGBY LEAGUE INTERNATIONALS
Saturday: Samoa v Fiji at 12.20pm; New Zealand v Great Britain at 3pm; Tonga Invitational v Australia at 5.40pm. All games at Eden Park.