Joe Powell takes a moment to think about the prospect of rampaging ACT Brumbies Allan Alaalatoa and Scott Sio charging at him.
"I don't know what will be going through my head to be honest, I'll be doing my best to put them on their back," the Melbourne Rebels scrumhalf said.
Saturday night's clash at Canberra Stadium marks Powell's first Super Rugby AU game against his former team after linking up with the Rebels ahead of the 2021 campaign.
Powell rose through the ranks in Canberra before making his debut for the Brumbies six years ago, and now he is set to find himself playing against the club he grew up cheering for.
"I spent a lot of time watching the Brumbies since I was a kid, so it will be a different experience for myself and my family playing and cheering against the Brumbies, it'll be good," Powell said.
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"I haven't really reflected too much, but [the Brumbies were] a massive part of my career. I debuted there, and they gave me my first opportunity.
"It'll be interesting, I'll just be looking after my game primarily and not getting caught up in the outside noise of it.
"I suppose I'm trying to approach it as a normal game, playing against a lot of good friends that I've had for the past few years.
"I'm obviously trying to take them out of it and approach it as a normal game, I know there will probably be a little bit of niggle and that, but I'll be doing my best to play my game and do my job for the Rebels."
The 26-year-old split the scrumhalf duties with Nic White following the Wallabies star's return to the capital last year, with White and Ryan Lonergan now taking the reins for the Brumbies.
Powell says adapting to Rebels coach Dave Wessels' game plan has given him a chance to look at rugby from a new perspective as he eyes an eventual return to the Wallabies set-up.
"It has definitely been good to learn and think about rugby in a completely different way. It's going to help my game and I'll learn to do things differently and play with different ideas with rugby," Powell said.
"It's definitely refreshing to go away from things I've been learning there for the past five years and to learn a different way of playing the game.
"There are many ways to play the game so it's been good."
A move to Melbourne inadvertently brought Powell back to Canberra after the Rebels were forced out of Victoria to escape a lockdown a week before the season kicked off.
The Rebels will fly to Perth in the wake of their match against the Brumbies, where they plan to spend the week before facing the Western Force in round four.
Only after that will they be able to return home, with plans in place to have the cars players and staff drove to Canberra taken back to Melbourne on a truck.
"It's been nice to be back home with the family so it's worked out well for me almost. For the large part a lot of the boys are still away from their families and their base in Melbourne so it would be nice to be back down there in a few weeks' time," Powell said.
"I've obviously really enjoyed it so far, it's a really good group of fellas who are willing to learn and willing to get to know each other."
SUPER RUGBY AU ROUND THREE
Saturday: ACT Brumbies v Melbourne Rebels at Canberra Stadium, 7.45pm. Broadcast: Live on Gem and Stan Sport. Tickets from Ticketek.
ACT Brumbies squad: 1. Scott Sio, 2. Connal McInerney, 3. Allan Alaalatoa (c), 4. Darcy Swain, 5. Cadeyrn Neville, 6. Rob Valetini, 7. Jahrome Brown, 8. Pete Samu, 9. Nic White, 10. Noah Lolesio, 11. Mack Hansen, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Len Ikitau, 14. Andy Muirhead, 15. Tom Banks. Replacements: 16. Lachlan Lonergan, 17. Harry Lloyd, 18. Tom Ross, 19. James Tucker, 20. Tom Cusack, 21. Ryan Lonergan, 22. Reesjan Pasitoa, 23. Solomone Kata.
Melbourne Rebels squad: 1. Cabous Eloff, 2. James Hanson, 3. Pone Fa'amausili, 4. Ross Haylett-Petty, 5. Trevor Hosea, 6. Joshua Kemeny, 7. Richard Hardwick, 8. Michael Wells, 9. Joe Powell, 10. Matt To'omua, 11. Marika Koroibete, 12. Reece Hodge, 13. Stacey Ili, 14. Lachlan Anderson, 15. Tom Pincus. Replacements: 16. Ed Craig, 17. Isaac Aedo Kailea, 18. Lucio Sordoni, 19. Steve Cummins, 20. Robert Leota, 21. James Tuttle/Brad Wilkin/Tom Nowlan (TBC), 22. Frank Lomani, 23. Glen Vaihu.
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