Wallabies powerhouse Samu Kerevi says he feels much stronger than he was this time last year - and he owes it all to Brad Thorn's unforgiving gym sessions.
The 23-year-old Test centre has continued his breathtaking 2016 form with a double for the Queensland Reds in their encouraging win over the Sharks in Friday night's season opener.
Much of the spotlight has been on the team's big-name summer recruits but Kerevi believes the contribution of dual-code warrior Thorn to the Reds' transformation into a more confident, hardened outfit cannot be overstated.
Thorn, 42, finally ended his two-decade career after a short stint in the National Rugby Championship last year and has taken on an increased role as an assistant to the Super Rugby team under new coach Nick Stiles.
The former All Blacks, Kangaroos, Maroons and Broncos forward still trains in the at Ballymore gym alongside Reds players and his gruelling sessions - as well as his not-so-optional extras at the end - have become the stuff of legend.
"Thorny, the way he does gym - sometimes, I don't know if we're going to make it through. That's the reality of it," Kerevi said.
"The culture he sets in the gym, and just as a person, he wants us to be excellent every day, excellency throughout the whole session.
"With him, we try to push the best tin and he watches each rep, making sure we push (with) the best form and everything.
"He wants us wearing singlets all the time in the gym. He wants us to be in the mirror and be glad, like we're pushing big tin." - Samu Kerevi
Kerevi said he can already feel the difference in contact, and described his season-ending ankle injury that blocked him from playing on Australia's European tour as a "blessing in disguise" because it allowed him a full pre-season this year.
"I'm a lot fitter now. Defensively I feel more confident and in attack with our skills, that's all we did in pre-season - skills, fitness and contact. It's a credit to our coaches," he said.
The Reds face a short turnaround for their next game against the Western Force in Perth on Thursday night.
But if you think that means Thorn will be showing any respite on Monday morning, think again.
"Monday you'd think after a game you can just come and build for the week but with him it's the total opposite. We set the benchmark," Kerevi said.