Cadeyrn Neville's tone changes at the mention of the family members taking a place in the stands for his biggest moment on Saturday night.
Because nine years ago the ACT Brumbies lock lost his father Chris due to a heart attack. Neville's 202 centimetre, 120 kilogram frame suggests he is hardly one for the gushy stuff.
But you get the sense his old man will be watching over him when he charges onto Canberra Stadium for a Super Rugby AU grand final against the Queensland Reds.
"We were pretty close, he would love to see all of this," Neville said.
"He saw me play first grade, but not Super Rugby. He grew up in Orange and played a bit of both codes, depending on what school he was at.
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"He was a big sports fan in general, he didn't pressure me into anything but he was just keen to see me doing whatever I enjoyed.
"It would be great to win it for him, for all of our families and everybody who has made sacrifices and put in effort for this. They deserve it."
Neville was once a rower with an eye on the London Olympic Games, yet dreams of a life in the water hardly come as a surprise for someone raised in a pocket of Sydney's northern beaches.
But wind back to Neville's childhood and it was the 13-man code which lured him to football.
"The rugby league park was about 200 metres up the road, I saw kids hitting tackles bags as a young fella and I wanted to get amongst it," Neville said.
But a career in rugby union was an afterthought at best when he decided to lace up the boots in Manly's lower grades. Then the Melbourne Rebels called, where Neville played 48 games before shifting to the Reds for 15 matches.
It seemed as though stints at both clubs had him destined for a Wallabies debut, but it wasn't to be. So off to Japan he went for three seasons.
"It was a bit of a mixed bag, the roller coaster a lot of rugby players experience. You're really giving it your all, all the time, and it doesn't always work in your favour," Neville said.
"I had one reasonable year at the Reds, had a shoulder reconstruction and didn't see much time after that. Then I had no Super Rugby until I wound up back here. I've built as a person and a footy player, and I'm better for it."
So much so that he is on the cusp of Super Rugby glory, and in a status fit for few 31-year-old rugby players, Neville's best may lie ahead.
SUPER RUGBY AU GRAND FINAL
Saturday: ACT Brumbies v Queensland Reds at Canberra Stadium, 7.15pm.
Brumbies squad: 1. Scott Sio, 2. Folau Fainga'a, 3. Allan Alaalatoa (c), 4. Murray Douglas, 5. Cadeyrn Neville, 6. Lachlan McCaffrey, 7. Will Miller, 8. Pete Samu, 9. Joe Powell, 10. Noah Lolesio, 11. Tom Wright, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Andy Muirhead, 15. Tom Banks. Replacements: 16. Connal McInerney, 17. James Slipper, 18. Tom Ross, 19. Nick Frost, 20. Rob Valetini, 21. Nic White, 22. Bayley Kuenzle, 23. Solomone Kata.
Reds squad: 1. JP Smith, 2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 3. Taniela Tupou, 4. Angus Blyth, 5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 6. Liam Wright (c), 7. Fraser McReight, 8. Harry Wilson, 9. Tate McDermott, 10. James O'Connor, 11. Filipo Daugunu, 12. Hamish Stewart, 13. Hunter Paisami, 14. Jordan Petaia, 15. Jock Campbell. Replacements: 16. Josh Nasser, 17. Harry Hoopert, 18. Ruan Smith, 19. Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20. Angus Scott-Young, 21. Moses Sorovi, 22. Bryce Hegarty, 23. Jack Hardy.