It's been one of the great NRL metamorphoses. Now, having emerged from the proverbial cocoon, Josh Papalii will play his 200th game for the Canberra Raiders.
Not only does the Raiders prop float like a butterfly, but he stings like a bee - and St George Illawarra will be wary of those stings at Canberra Stadium on Thursday night.
Having ridden on Papalii's coattails last season, Canberra veteran Sia Soliola said the Green Machine will be desperate to honour him with a win.
Soliola will be breathing a sigh of relief, having escaped with a $1700 fine for a high shot on New Zealand Warriors lock Adam Blair.
It means he'll be free to play in Papalii's milestone game. You could hear the excitement in the front rower's voice at the prospect.
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"That's amazing. We celebrated two of our brothers - Curtis [Scott] and Michael Oldfield - who hit the 50-mark in NRL games [on Saturday]," Soliola said.
"We made a really big effort. For Papa to reach that 200-mark and what he's done for himself and the club that's going to be a big emphasis for us this coming week.
"Two hundred games is massive, that's awesome. I'm pretty pumped for that. It's pretty cool."
Soliola has witnessed Papalii's transformation from one of the best second rowers in the NRL into arguably the best front rower in the world.
The softly spoken Queenslander has also established himself as a mainstay of the Maroons' line-up come State of Origin time.
He was crucial in the Green Machine's charge to last year's grand final, scoring some match-winning tries along the way.
"We rode on his coattails because he led the way for us last year," Soliola said.
"He doesn't have to say anything, his body tells [us] and it's pretty evident what he has been doing.
"He's been a really damaging player for such a long period and so consistently as well.
"To move from the outside edge and to come into the middle and be a real leader in his own right it's been huge. It's been a great metamorphosis.
"He's done it not only at club level, but at Origin consistently as well and that's why he has all the respect from us as players, from other opponents and from the fans.
"That's the reason why he was a Mal Meninga Medallist because he's a very vital and important part to our group."
NRL ROUND THREE
Thursday: Canberra Raiders v St George Illawarra Dragons at Canberra Stadium, 8.05pm.