The Canberra Raiders have turned to a mixed martial arts champion to finetune their grappling as they leave no stone unturned in a bid to snap a premiership drought.
The Green Machine called on MMA light heavyweight and Glasgow Commonwealth Games judo representative Duke Didier to ignite their pre-season campaign on Tuesday.
A chance meeting with Raiders coach Ricky Stuart saw Didier lured to the club's state of the art Braddon headquarters - which boast a dedicated wrestling room.
Didier leapt at the chance to help his hometown team, as if there would be any hesitation for a fighter nicknamed the "Duke of Canberra" who wears green and black in the cage.
"It's my duty as a Canberran sportsman, if I can help the Raiders win a premiership in any way, shape or form, my services are always available," Didier laughed.
"I bumped into Ricky a couple of weeks ago when he heard I was in town. I met Ricky and got an invitation to come into their wrestling session.
"Their pre-season is underway so Brett White took me around and showed me all of the new facilities, and then I just jumped in and did some technical parts of the wrestling program they've been doing.
"It's awesome to see such high-level athletes using grappling in their sport, it's awesome to see rugby players using all the tools that I know are so essential to fighting."
Didier shifted to Melbourne last year to chase his dream of a UFC contract under the tutelage of Daniel Kelly, training alongside the likes of UFC light heavyweight Jimmy Crute and heavyweight Ben Sosoli.
But the Canberra product faced a mental test like no other in recent months when he was kept away from training with blood clots during Victoria's strict lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Didier was told he was done, that it was time to retire, before 10 hours on an operating table across two surgeries opened the door for him to fulfil his burning desire to compete again.
Now a stint at home over the Christmas break has given him a chance to fuel those competitive juices alongside a Raiders outfit hunting the club's first title since 1994.
Canberra fell in the preliminary final this year, a year after losing a grand final, but Didier says they are "leaving no stone unturned" on the road to 2021 after spending the best part of four hours at the club's headquarters.
Tuesday marks day two of a three-day intense block of training after the senior group joined Canberra's first to fourth year players, kicked off by strength tests and runs at a Stromlo track on Monday.
Players will break for the Christmas and New Year period before returning for training on January 7, but they are set to stay in town due to COVID-19 concerns.
"They all hooked in, the key directive is they were just absolutely flogging them for pre-season," Didier said.
"They all worked so hard, they're all such finely tuned athletes. It's good to just add tweaks and show them a few tricks I have picked up over the years.
"I did two sessions with them, they split their squad into two and we just did the same thing with each squad. They're definitely leaving no stone unturned for next season. They're hooking in already.
"The facilities are state of the art, but even the wrestling rooms, that's ideal, that's perfect. It is definitely at the level now where every team takes their grappling seriously and it's awesome to see."