Nic White has just spent the best part of 90 minutes "chugging diesel".
Not on the tracks at the Canberra Railway Museum, where White stands in his full ACT Brumbies kit, boots and all for The Canberra Times' Super Rugby AU season guide cover.
Though it is fitting he finds himself here, weaving his way through carriages like they are defenders trying to keep him from another championship trophy.
Because he wants you to "jump on the train", because as he puts it in a manner that combines genuine confidence with a disarming smile, "we're going again". The journey starts in Perth, where the Brumbies meet the Western Force at Perth Oval on Friday night.
But first, we wind back to the diminutive 30-year-old burning through fuel at Viking Park. White is fresh off his first pre-season trial in Brumbies colours in six years and takes a moment to wonder when he last played here.
"Gee whiz," he grins as the memory comes back. "Dan doesn't forgive me for that."
White was playing for the NSW Country Eagles in the National Rugby Championship in 2014. Coaching the opposition - the home side, mind you - was Dan McKellar.
So much has followed since. White shifted overseas for five years to play in France and the United Kingdom before the COVID-19 pandemic opened the door for an early return to Canberra, where he combined with McKellar to lead the Brumbies to the Super Rugby AU title.
So much has changed between White's last pre-season in Canberra and his latest. Competitions have been knocked down and rebuilt. Teams have come and gone. Broadcast deals designed to change the course of the code have been struck. High hopes and heartbreak have been dealt out in equal measure.
Yet as players and officials prepare for the dawn of a new era this week, McKellar is proof some things stay the same.
"Mate, he's the same every bloody day," White said.
"Intense and zero to 100. Every day he pushes us to get better, he's a great coach, and that's what you want in a coach.
"Dan wants to win every single day. It's a great place to be at the moment, Canberra, there's a real buzz around rugby at the moment, you can feel that here.
"There is a bit of a buzz around rugby in Canberra. We're doing well, obviously we won the AU competition last year. That's the plan again, to go again, jump on board, we're going again.
"Jump on the train, jump on board, we're going places, Super Rugby and the Wallabies."
A new year brings with it hope of an Australian rugby revival. The Wallabies showed so much promise late last year, yet key moments and one nightmare in Sydney suggest they still have a way to go.
Super Rugby's globetrotting format is a distant memory, so too the early morning wake-up calls to watch Australian sides face South African rivals the casual fan knew almost nothing of.
In its place rest a domestic tournament and then Super Rugby Trans-Tasman, which pits Australia's five clubs against their New Zealand counterparts in an unrelenting schedule.
It is seen as the next major step towards a unified competition in 2022 which may include a Pasifika side amid a major revamp of the professional game in the southern hemisphere.
Among the biggest sources of intrigue surrounding Super Rugby will be the impact of its shift to free-to-air television and its place as the flagship of fledgling streaming service Stan Sport.
It's a little bit of a rebuild at the moment. COVID, as bad as it is, it's really been good for rugby in a sense. We've been able to hit the reset button.Brumbies scrumhalf Nic White
Every Super Rugby game will be available on Stan Sport, with the add-on sport package to cost fans $10 per month, while a weekly Saturday night timeslot will be reserved for a game on Nine Network channel Gem.
Officials hope it will open the game to a new market and turn rising stars into potential household names in Australian sport.
"It's a little bit of a rebuild at the moment. COVID, as bad as it is, it's really been good for rugby in a sense. We've been able to hit the reset button," White said.
"There's super young squads which are starting to develop. It may take a little bit of time but you can see the potential there, obviously with that [Wallabies] win against the All Blacks and the draw [last year].
"The [Queensland] Reds, the [NSW] Waratahs, they've got such young average ages in their squads. The Brums are the same."
Look at the emerging scrumhalves sitting behind White in the pecking order at Brumbies headquarters.
Everything Issak Fines touched in a pre-season trial against the Force "turned to gold". So lethal is the 25-year-old, McKellar is considering using him on a wing to capitalise on his blistering pace.
Ryan Lonergan, the front-runner to secure a bench spot following Joe Powell's move to Melbourne, was the clutch man with the kicking tee to secure victory over the Force.
"It's awesome, we've got plenty of depth here and that's what you need. It's going to be a pretty long season, with the AU competition and then going into the Trans-Tasman," White said.
"We need that depth in every position, we've certainly got it in the nine position. It's going to push our games to a new height.
"Give me game day over pre-season every day of the week, bloody hell, I hate pre-season.
"You get this feeling at the end of pre-season, the feeling the guys get, the sense of excitement around the boys who just want to play some rugby and can't wait to get out there. It's pretty exciting.
"I'm well and truly just champing at the bit to get stuck into the season. It's time."