Will Miller was fixing a fence on the family's dairy farm with his brother and sister when his phone lit up with a message.
It was ACT Brumbies coach Dan McKellar asking the 28-year-old flanker to come out of retirement and answer an SOS for the Super Rugby AU contenders in the midst of an injury crisis.
"We sort of laughed at the message," Miller said.
"Then I got a call a couple of hours later when I was out putting some hay out, cruising around doing bits and pieces around the farm.
"It wasn't too strenuous because I could have a conversation."
MORE RUGBY UNION
McKellar admits it was something of a hail Mary, but the Brumbies mentor needed someone to fill the void after Jahrome Brown was rubbed out of the domestic season with a shoulder injury.
He'd been running through a list of options for the best part of 24 hours before he remembered the dairy famer "just down the road at Berry".
Though "I did say to him when he did retire, 'don't be surprised if I call you at some stage when we get an injury or two'".
But could McKellar have anticipated Miller would be suiting up for the Brumbies against the Melbourne Rebels in Melbourne on Sunday afternoon?
"If I was a betting man I probably would have said no," McKellar said.
"He had adjusted to life on the farm and playing amateur footy with his mates. If I had to have had a punt, I would have said he would have knocked it back.
"He knew I was serious. I could sense immediately that he was pretty interested. If you're not interested, your reaction is going to be 'thank but no thanks'.
"He was appreciative of the offer, and asked if he could have some time to think about it.
"We provided a little bit of flexibility for him as well to ensure he continues to get access to something he genuinely loves doing, and that's being on the farm.
"We managed to work out a plan there to ensure he is ready to play rugby at a professional level and still get to do what he loves doing, and that's milking cows."
The plan brings Miller to training at the club's University of Canberra base from Monday to Wednesday. If he makes the team, he spends a day on the farm on Thursday before returning for captain's run and game day.
If he doesn't, he heads home to the farm on a Wednesday afternoon and before long you can probably find him pulling on the boots with his mates at Shoalhaven in Illawarra's club rugby competition.
But this week the Shoals will miss the unassuming flanker, because he is about to line up for his 50th Super Rugby cap - 15 have come at the Brumbies, 29 at the NSW Waratahs and five at the Rebels.
Miller rejoins a side desperate to finish their regular season campaign with a bang before hosting a qualifying final on home soil on May 1.
The winner earns a shot at the title against the Queensland Reds, a rival the Brumbies have fallen to by two points on two separate occasions this year.
The second was tinged with disappointment. The first, heartbreak. But that was the night Miller crossed paths with his old teammates again, a night that set the wheels in motion.
"I saw them at the Reds game [in Canberra]. I'd forgotten how much I had missed them because I hadn't seen them all," Miller said.
"Seeing them all was so good that it got me excited to come back and see them again. If I didn't go to that game and see them, I probably wouldn't be here.
"I had to think about [coming out of retirement] a bit, because I was more worried about whether my fitness would be up to it, which I guess will be the test this weekend more than anything.
"So far at training I've been alright. I was more than happy to have a crack, it's just that I don't want to let anyone down in the process.
"I've got to be good enough to play for them."
SUPER RUGBY AU ROUND NINE
Sunday: Melbourne Rebels v ACT Brumbies at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, 2pm. Broadcast: Live on Stan Sport.
ACT Brumbies team: 1. Scott Sio, 2. Folau Fainga'a, 3. Allan Alaalatoa (c), 4. Darcy Swain, 5. Cadeyrn Neville, 6. James Tucker, 7. Rory Scott, 8. Rob Valetini, 9. Ryan Lonergan, 10. Noah Lolesio, 11. Tom Wright, 12. Bayley Kuenzle, 13. Len Ikitau, 14. Andy Muirhead, 15. Tom Banks. Replacements: 16. Lachlan Lonergan, 17. James Slipper, 18. Tom Ross, 19. Nick Frost, 20. Will Miller, 21. Nic White, 22. Reesjan Pasitoa, 23. Mack Hansen.
Melbourne Rebels team: 1. Matt Gibbon, 2. James Hanson, 3. Pone Fa'amausili, 4. Robert Leota, 5. Trevor Hosea, 6. Joshua Kemeny, 7. Richard Hardwick, 8. Michael Wells, 9. Joe Powell, 10. Matt To'omua (c), 11. Marika Koroibete, 12. Campbell Magnay, 13. Stacey Ili, 14. Frank Lomani, 15. Tom Pincus. Replacements: 16. Jordan Uelese, 17. Cabous Eloff, 18. Cameron Orr, 19. Lucio Sordoni, 20. Ross Haylett-Petty, 21. Isi Naisarani, 22. Brad Wilkin, 23. James Tuttle, 24. Lewis Holland, 25. Glen Vaihu.