In another world Nic White has just arrived at ACT Brumbies headquarters to introduce himself to a new group of teammates and start the next chapter of his career.
This is, after all, when his two-year contract with the Super Rugby powerhouse was supposed to kick in.
Instead the Brumbies scrumhalf returned to training alongside the bulk of the club's Wallabies squad this week with a head start and a Super Rugby AU championship to defend.
"A few extra caps is nice," White laughed.
"This is when I was supposed to rock up, I got lucky and got a few games and a title for turning up early. It's awesome, we've got the family settled now here in Canberra, and it feels like we've never left. This is home.
"It was just a weird season, a weird time for everybody, COVID has changed everything and you had to be adaptable.
"I was lucky enough to come back in and get a couple of games at the end of the year. This is when I was supposed to be here, but I feel like I've got the jumpstart and I'm glad I did, I'm able to come in here [and pick up where we left off].
"A few of the guys don't know me so I've already built a few relationships, and I've got a few weeks to do that. That's what pre-season is all about, it's exciting."
The Brumbies are little more than a month out from their Super Rugby AU season opener against the Western Force in Perth on February 19.
First comes a trial match in three weeks likely to be played in Canberra but club officials are anxiously waiting to see if border restrictions will have an impact on that fixture.
It gives White little time to get back into the swing of things however the 30-year-old says he is raring to go after a five-week break which allowed him to refresh physically and mentally.
"It was good for me, it's the first time in three or four seasons back to back. It was one my body needed, certainly one my mind needed. I feel really good for it," White said.
"I was able to get back home up to the Hunter to see my family, and out to Mudgee to see my wife's family, and then got back here, got settled in a house. Looking forward to the next couple of years and hopefully a few more.
"Guys have been working hard, guys who have been away have done the right thing over the break and we're ready to hit the ground running.
"We're not learning anything new, it's just about making a few tweaks on what we did last year and using each day to get better.
"From that side of things, it's a little bit easier coming from a successful season, you don't have to change too much."
White returns to training as part of a four-man rotation in the scrumhalf role alongside Ryan Lonergan, Issak Fines and rookie Lachie Albert.
Lonergan and Fines both got a taste of the top level last season and now the trio are jostling for a place in coach Dan McKellar's match day 23 following the departure of Joe Powell to Melbourne.
Albert says he has worked tirelessly to get the better of Lonergan and Fines at training since the trio kicked off preparations in November - an effort he says has been reciprocated.
Now the return of the club's Wallabies contingent is driving the emerging prospect's desire to go to another level at training in search of a maiden Super Rugby cap.
"You get a kick up the arse and make sure you're accountable for what you're doing," Albert said.
"It's a good thing, you make sure you're always on top of it and ahead of your knowledge. That's one thing all of the Wallabies coming back on have harped on for all of us.
"They've brought a really good voice. Obviously they're very experienced players. Whitey being back has been very good for me being accountable for my own role and learning off him.
"In general, a lot of the boys brought a voice and make sure we've upped the standard. It's really taken [training] to a new level since they've been back.
"There are four halfbacks here, I'm learning off all of them. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses but also just general knowledge and experience around the ball.
"At the moment each day I'm making sure I come in here to try to get better, and eventually hopefully make my debut."