The ACT Brumbies thought the coaches were doing them a favour when they rescheduled the type of fitness sessions all athletes dread at this time of year.
All the relief of training in the morning disappeared pretty quickly when they were told to sling teammates over their shoulders and carry them up hills at the end of a two-hour pre-season slog.
The Brumbies tried to beat the Canberra heat on Thursday, coaches shifting an afternoon field session to the morning after the temperature was forecast to hit 39 degrees.
It was almost 35 degrees by the time they started throwing each other around like ragdolls, even the 120 kilogram props, just four days after returning from holidays.
"We were all cheering when the coaches said we were going to do it in the morning, but it was the toughest we've had," said Wallabies rookie Rob Valetini.
"I had to get [Jahrome Brown] up the hill. He's 109 or 110 kilograms, the body's already sore from the first week and then having to do that at the end was a killer.
"This is my fourth pre-season. You'd think by now I'd know what's ahead of me and coming, but they always take you by surprise with something in a session."
Brumbies players started training this week, coach Dan McKellar "drawing a line in the sand" at a physical and intense session on Tuesday to find out which of his players were ready to step up.
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McKellar was feeling more generous by the end of the week, even though he integrated fitness work into non-stop rugby work.
The heat is something the Brumbies will have to get used to, with Super Rugby set to start in January for the first time in the competition's 25-year history.
The Brumbies will host the Queensland Reds in round one on January 31 and will play the first three games in Canberra during what is traditionally the hottest period of the year.
The November heatwave ensured there was no easing back into full-time training, not that any of the Brumbies were complaining.
Most of McKellar's men have already started their bid to impress in what looms as a three-month selection trial for starting XV spots.
Former Gungahlin scrumhalf Issak Fines and teenage flyhalf Reesjan Pasitoa were paired in the hill drill, with both looking to launch their careers in 2020.
"He's just got out of school but he's a manchild," grinned Fines, the Nathan Sharpe Medal winner from the Western Force.
"I'm pretty cooked, it's been a big first week. Being at the Force gave me a chance to be around professionals, now it's great to be back in Canberra."