Scott Sio has lost count of how many times he glanced up at the front door just waiting for a chance to walk outside.
"You'd see the front door every day and you'd just have your fingers crossed everything goes well, [thinking] maybe they were going to let us out early," the ACT Brumbies prop said.
"I know they brought out that list of suburbs in Sydney and said your quarantine would be done. Unfortunately Folau [Fainga'a] and I, we didn't get that memo, we had to stick it out for 14 days."
Needless to say pre-season training looked like no other as Sio prepares to enter his 10th season with the Brumbies.
The 29-year-old will play a crucial role for an outfit chasing back-to-back Super Rugby AU titles before turning their attention to a Trans-Tasman tournament.
So he is leaving no stone unturned at Brumbies headquarters during pre-season training after he was forced to spend a fortnight on a watt bike and lifting weights with Fainga'a at home, after the pair had been in a COVID-19 affected area in Sydney over the Christmas and New Years break.
"Luckily for us, we've got two storeys. If we got sick of each other I could just send him on his way to his room and close the doors for a bit," Sio laughed.
"We're so comfortable with each other, it worked out really well and it made the whole process a lot easier.
"The day we decided to come back [from Sydney], it was pretty chockers at the line-up to get into the ACT and we realised how serious the situation was.
"We were fortunate we were able to work something out with the Brumbies, where we were able to get out just before camp and join the boys there, and we were still able to have Christmas and New Years with the family after such a long year.
"We made do with what we had, Folau and I tried to keep as much of a schedule as we could every day but when you're cooped up in the house, it's pretty hard."
The pair spent two hours training every morning. An hour each on the watt bike, while the other lifted weights. It got repetitive, sure, but two key pieces of the Brumbies' star-studded front-row knew they could ill-afford to come back underdone.
Because Wallabies commitments meant Sio and Fainga'a were playing deep into 2020, with Australia's final Tri Nations match coming against Argentina on December 5.
Now they find themselves little more than three weeks out from the opening game of their Super Rugby AU campaign, against the Western Force in Perth on February 19. An announcement on a trial match is coming soon.
It kicks off a hectic year for Australia's Super Rugby clubs, who will eventually find themselves on a collision course with their New Zealand-based counterparts.
The landscape of Super Rugby has changed drastically since Sio first emerged as the young pup in Canberra, long before he became known as the big dog around club headquarters.
Clubs have come and gone, the Brumbies have won and lost grand finals, and now the entire structure of the competition has been revamped - and will again in 2022. The fallout from the coronavirus pandemic which left sport reeling around the globe means even pre-season is far shorter than what Sio had once grown accustomed to.
"Back then we were running eight to 10-week pre-seasons," Sio said.
"It's a lot better, there was a lot of running in those eight to 10 weeks, especially if you were in fat club, you were pretty much training every day.
"There's a lot of focus on having a point of difference for each team, and what area we can keep improving on as a squad there as well.
"Trying to condense everything into that four to five-week block nowadays, but it seems to be going well for the Brums at the moment.
"I didn't get the running under the belt that you usually like to get coming in [this year]. It is what it is, a lot of teams will have to deal with similar problems. We've just got to adapt and adjust as best as we can, and I feel like we've done that.
"They've integrated us well in the last week back into training, hopefully we can amp things up this week for a lot of us that were stuck in quarantine for those few days."