Former Bulldog Adam Elliott is excited to trot out for Canberra this season and leave his history of off-field drama behind him.
But amid a COVID scare at the club this week Elliott wasn't quite as thrilled about his experience car-pooling with Nick Cotric.
When Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad tested positive to COVID-19 on Monday, the Raiders were forced to abandon their team bus north for their NRL trial match against Manly this Friday night.
Instead players were directed to travel up to the Central Coast in a convoy of cars.
Coming into a new team can be a daunting experience, however Elliott was lucky - or maybe unlucky - to car-pool with his Canterbury teammate from last season, with whom he says he shares "a natural friendship".
"We shared the driving a little bit, but if I have it my way I'll be doing most of the driving on the way home," Elliott told The Canberra Times.
"I think he maybe needs to go do a few lessons.
"The music was something else I wasn't really impressed with. We played a bit of techno, some house and Nick's Serbian music on the way up.
"I'll be taking charge on the way back to Canberra and it should be straight country the whole way."
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Elliott moved to the capital in the off-season when Canterbury ripped up his contract following another off-field incident.
He and NRLW star Millie Boyle were reportedly asked to leave a Gold Coast restaurant after sharing a kiss in the venue's bathroom, sparking an NRL probe.
It was not the first instance the Bega-born lock had been at the centre of an investigation by the NRL Integrity Unit.
Boyle and Elliott are currently dating, and the 27-year-old says he hasn't thought about his unceremonious exit from the Bulldogs since.
"I'm very, very happy with where I'm at right now," Elliott said.
"Things happened a certain way but I'm at the Raiders now and that's all I'm thinking of and where my focus is. I want to put my best foot forward and hopefully every time I get on the field I can do my job for the team."
Elliott said Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has made him feel "very welcome" at the club which has allowed him to quickly settle into his new home.
He played more minutes than expected in Canberra's first pre-season hit-out against the Roosters due to the team's COVID curveball and relished the opportunity to provide some versatility to the squad.
"It was great to play my first game in the colours. It's got me really excited for the season and especially for this trial game we've got Friday," Elliott said.
"I've got a few things I'm always trying to work on. Playing on the edge is different to being in the middle. I'll probably play a bit of both at lock and second-row.
"Particularly the way the game has gone, it's good to have a middle that can be a bit versatile on the edge and I hope it's something valuable for us.
"I'm feeling really good and I'll take a lot out of this trial game for round one."
Friday: Canberra Raiders v Manly Sea Eagles, 6pm at Central Coast Stadium
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