There was a time, not too long ago, when boom Brumbies playmaker Noah Lolesio defined himself by what happened on the rugby field.
But after a rollercoaster 2021, Lolesio has slowly but surely learned to detach himself from the game at every opportunity.
Beneath his calm exterior is a self-confessed "over-thinker", who was gobsmacked by the amount of global media interest surrounding his up-and-down Wallabies campaign in 2021 which included being culled from Dave Rennie's Spring Tour squad, only to be called back up four weeks later to cover the withdrawal of Quade Cooper.
Yet Lolesio is rapidly learning to deal with external pressure, almost as quickly as he developed into one of Australia's brightest young stars. Let's not forget he only celebrated his 22nd birthday last month.
"I'm learning ways now how to manage it all, with all the pressure and all that. At the end of the day it's just yourself in your head," Lolesio said.
"I've had great chats with senior players as well, how they manage it. That just comes with experience and years under the belt. I've been finding it difficult early on but hopefully this year I can manage it a bit better.
"You've just got to accept the fact that it's just rugby. Rugby doesn't really define me. I used to think especially in my first year or two, coming into my third year now, that I'm just a rugby player and that's it.
"Rugby's just something that I do and I need to keep constantly reminding myself that. There's more things in life than just footy, so that's what I'm trying to focus on this year."
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Wallabies coach Rennie initially told Lolesio he wouldn't be going on the Spring Tour so he could enjoy a much-needed off-season after a frantic first two years in the professional game.
He had four weeks off before the call came to jump on a plane for Europe. And upon return to Australia, he immediately returned to Brumbies training while most of his Australia teammates took the rest of the year off.
"[Four weeks was] not really [enough] to be honest but what can you do? You can't really turn down a call when the Wallabies need you," Lolesio said.
"It's rugby, I'm living my dream at the moment and can't really complain about going over to see what Europe has to offer.
"It was best for me and my development to come in [to Brumbies pre-season] a couple of weeks earlier than usual. At the start I was a bit like, 'Oh I wouldn't mind a holiday', but looking back now it was definitely best for me.
"That's the reason I was here a couple of weeks earlier than the other returning Wallabies boys. I don't regret it at all. I've got a couple of weeks in the bank now and I'm looking to get better every day."
Lolesio managed to escape Canberra to spend Christmas and New Year's at home with family on the Gold Coast, before returning to the training track last week.
As an added bonus, he managed to avoid contracting COVID-19 despite the travel.
He was joined by his Wallabies teammates at the start of this week and coach Dan McKellar was now working with a near-fully fit squad ahead of his final season with the club.
"It's Dan's last year, too, so we really want to send him off on a high," Lolesio said.
"He's mentioned a couple of times now that he really just wants to enjoy this last year. Me knowing Dan, what makes him enjoy it is winning, so we're going to do everything in our ability to put in a result for him and this organisation.
"This season is different to the last two seasons that I've had. It's keeping me on my toes a bit. I can't really get comfortable.
"I'm learning different ways of managing my body and switching off my brain during the season, too. I'm learning stuff as I go, to be honest.
"As everyone knows, I probably got thrown straight into the number 10 jersey when I was young and I've just had to learn on the way, and ask everyone that's experienced it before."
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