Melbourne prop Pone Fa'amausili faced many challenges with unexpectedly being on the road last year for six months, including clothing his hulking frame.
Standing 196cm and weighing 130kg, Fa'amausili was caught short when the Rebels' dash interstate to beat border closures in mid-2020 turned into six months.
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As well as being part of the Rebels Super Rugby AU campaign, he was called into the Wallabies squad for their Bledisloe Cup and Tri-Nations campaigns which meant he was away from June until December.
"It was a long six months on the road, me and Trevor (Hosea) were roomies and we both made the Wallabies squad," Fa'amausili told AAP.
"We had a week off after our last round of Super Rugby but we weren't able to come home and then we went straight into Wallabies camp in Sydney.
"It was pretty crazy to live out of our suitcases for six months and it can be frustrating running out of clothes and trying to shop on the road.
"Not everyone stocks my size clothes but luckily I have Trevor who is the same size as me so we could wear each others clothes and shoes."
The Rebels will play their first match at AAMI Park in 377 days when they host the winless Waratahs on Friday night.
It's extra special for Fa'amausili, Hosea, Jordan Uelese and Rob Leota - Victorian born and bred players who call themselves the Burn Boys.
The four have been welcomed home by a giant billboard featuring them which overlooks Melbourne's Federation Square and main train station.
"It's pretty special for us this week, coming back to Melbourne and playing in front of our home fans," Fa'amausili said.
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"It's been over 12 months so the boys are pretty excited and to see our faces up there I was pretty proud cause us Melbourne boys have done it tough."
While he didn't get a Test cap, Fa'amausili said he took plenty from his time in the Wallabies camp which came at the end of his first full season of Super Rugby.
"Last year was more about being in and around the squad and have some senior guys every day in camp being an open book," he said.
"I just took on board their advice and am putting it into play and I've definitely never been as excited about rugby as I am right now to try and make the squad again and get a Test cap."
The Melbourne Rebels will kick-off round five of Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU when they host the Waratahs at AAMI Park, kicking off at 7.45pm AEDT, LIVE on Stan Sport. Click here to purchase tickets.