Dan McKellar has had a handful of ACT Brumbies players and staff around for dinner before. But never enough to warrant 240 chops on a barbecue.
Well, until now.
This is how the Brumbies launched their Super Rugby AU finals campaign. Butchers were cleaned out and cars lined Chapman streets as far as the eye could see as 55 players and officials converged on the McKellar household for a team dinner.
It was the final Sunday of the regular season, the top three was decided and the Brumbies were six days out from a home qualifying final, desperate to earn another shot at the Queensland Reds.
So McKellar took "a chance for us all to reconnect". As far as football chat went that night, there was "not an enormous amount".
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"It was just an opportunity for the boys to take the mickey out of the coach and have a laugh and that sort of thing," the Brumbies mentor grinned.
"I just thought in bye week on a Sunday night, leading into an important week, it was a chance for us all to reconnect and invite the boys into the family home and put on a feed for them.
"There was plenty of food, it was really enjoyable and I think they appreciated it. It was just a good start to the week, we managed to get about 55 of them.
"They all went home nice and full which is important for these boys, they can put some tucker away. It was a really good start to the week.
"There was 240 chops, 120 lamb chops and 120 pork chops. We had great help from Billy Swain and those guys, and obviously my wife Carla did a lot of work to make sure the boys had a meal they would enjoy. It was great."
Now that same group arrives in Brisbane determined to capture their second consecutive Super Rugby AU crowd in a final against the Reds on Saturday night.
It's a chance to add another chapter to the story of Australia's most successful professional rugby club, and a chance for today's group to add another tale to their growing legacy.
Only this time they do it as underdogs, heading to the sunshine state with nobody to bounce off but themselves and the few family members and close friends cheering from the stands.
That suits Scott Sio just fine. They will be outnumbered by tens of thousands, but a tight-knit group inspired by "a big country town" in Canberra is determined to take their chance.
"Will Miller reminds me every day when he sits next to me in the locker room. He calls it the milkman's corner down there," Sio said.
"Just little things like that, a little banter around the team, they're things that help you grow those bonds and that connection there. Getting out to our community as well, Brumbies to Bush and all of those things add up at the end of the day.
"We know we have all our people backing up for us on Saturday night."
SUPER RUGBY AU FINAL
Saturday: Queensland Reds v ACT Brumbies at Lang Park, 7.45pm. Broadcast: Live on Stan Sport and Channel Nine. Tickets from Ticketek.
ACT Brumbies squad: 1. Scott Sio, 2. Lachlan Lonergan, 3. Allan Alaalatoa (c), 4. Darcy Swain, 5. Cadeyrn Neville, 6. Nick Frost, 7. Rory Scott, 8. Rob Valetini, 9. Nic White, 10. Noah Lolesio, 11. Tom Wright, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Len Ikitau, 14. Andy Muirhead, 15. Tom Banks. Replacements: 16. Folau Fainga'a, 17. Harry Lloyd, 18. Tom Ross, 19. Henry Stowers, 20. Luke Reimer, 21. Ryan Lonergan, 22. Reesjan Pasitoa, 23. Mack Hansen.
Queensland Reds squad: 1. Feao Fotuaika, 2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 3. Taniela Tupou, 4. Ryan Smith, 5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 6. Angus Scott-Young, 7. Fraser McReight, 8. Harry Wilson, 9. Tate McDermott, 10. James O'Connor (c), 11. Jock Campbell, 12. Hamish Stewart, 13. Josh Flook, 14. Jordan Petaia, 15. Bryce Hegarty. Replacements: 16. Alex Mafi, 17. Dane Zander, 18. Zane Nonggorr, 19. Seru Uru, 20. Liam Wright, 21. Kalani Thomas, 22. Isaac Henry, 23. Filipo Daugunu.
*The Brumbies are offering a package for fans including a charter flight to and from Brisbane, a ticket to the final, and one night's accommodation. Secure your seat here.
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