Irae Simone is playing like a man with a chip on his shoulder.
"I've got to," the ACT Brumbies inside centre said in the wake of his side's triumphant start to the new Super Rugby AU campaign.
Because Simone returns to club headquarters this year with a Wallabies cap to his name. As for the Brumbies, they've got four domestic rivals trying "to take our heads off".
So Simone is leaving no stone unturned as he emerges as a leader in a Brumbies outfit chasing back-to-back Australian championships.
The next step comes against the club's bitter arch-rivals in the NSW Waratahs at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night.
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The Waratahs are depleted and picking up the pieces of a round one nightmare. The Brumbies have a spring in their step after travelling across the country and outclassing an emotion-charged Western Force outfit.
Simone himself will be better for the run. After all, the 25-year-old entered round one with just two full training sessions under his belt after suffering a calf tear which derailed his pre-season program.
"It definitely tested out the lungs out there, but I enjoy it. I love running out with the boys. Once you've got that motive in your mind, there is no turning back," Simone said.
"You can have the best pre-season, but when it comes to match fitness, I think everyone is on the same page.
"I can't rely on that though, I've got to keep working hard and keep playing like I've got a chip on my shoulder. I've got to keep going harder and keep performing week in, week out.
"I see myself as one of the leaders, especially in our backline. My job is to keep holding everyone accountable, but I have to make sure I get my job right in my backyard before worrying about others.
"I've just got a huge belief in what I do and what the players around me do as well. That's what brings confidence.
"We were the previous champions, we know what's coming. Everyone is out to take the top of the table at the moment, to take our heads off.
"We've just got to go week by week, keep turning up and keep winning. That's our main focus."
Simone has emerged as vital piece in the Brumbies' back line with his 41 Super Rugby caps putting him behind only Nic White (72) and Tom Banks (61) in the pecking order.
On his inside is flyhalf Noah Lolesio, on his outside is centre Len Ikitau - two emerging stars in Simone is helping during the early stages of their careers.
Now he enters a battle with his former club as part of a Brumbies outfit desperate to build on a six-game winning streak at Canberra Stadium.
"They're a young team as well like us, and we've just got to be able to play our game and take our opportunities when they come," Simone said.
"Hopefully next week we can display more, and being back at home, we can play our Brumbies rugby.
"Everyone is excited to be back home in front of our own hometown, family and friends. We're trying to make it our fortress at the moment.
"We love playing at home, we've got the best crowd, the best community, the best family. We're just keen to go, we're keen to be back home and rip in.
"There's nothing better than Tah week too, so it's an exciting time."
SUPER RUGBY AU ROUND TWO
Saturday: ACT Brumbies v NSW Waratahs at Canberra Stadium, 7.45pm. Broadcast: Live on Gem and Stan Sport. Tickets from Ticketek.