Goodwin a father figure on and off the field
While the rest of his teammates were on a plane headed to Auckland, Rabbitohs Nines skipper Bryson Goodwin was still in Sydney dropping his son off for his first day at school.
He arrived in New Zealand that evening with his bags packed not only with footy gear, but also the paternal instincts that he'd shown earlier that day.
The veteran is one of the most experienced centres at the club and is excited at the prospect of mentoring the glut of up-and-comers vying for a Rabbitohs jersey.
"Part of my character is to help people out if I can. If the younger guys come over and ask me for some help or advice then I'm more than happy to do what I can," Goodwin told NRL.com at the Downer Auckland Nines Captains Call.
"You just try to help them out whenever you can. It's something that everyone at our club tries to do and if they've got some advice to give then they're not afraid to say something."
Goodwin has taken a particular interest in rookie centres Braidon Burns and Tyrell Fuimaono who are tipped to leave their mark on the rest of the competition at the Nines.
The pair are new additions in Redfern with Burns coming across from the Panthers while Fuimaono is fresh from an incredible season with the Eels in the Holden Cup.
"What's good to see is that both of them have been helping out some of the older guys here and keeping us feeling young," Goodwin said.
"From what I've seen at training so far they've been unbelievable. There are hopefully big things coming for those two. If they perform well then they'll definitely play NRL at some stage in the near future. It's up to them now and I think the Nines and the pre-season trials will be a great test for them.
"It's good for the younger boys to get a go in the Nines, especially this year with so many superstars coming over to Auckland."
Fuimaono in particular is being touted as a potential first grader at some stage in 2017 if he can back up his incredible numbers from last season.
Headlined by 144 tackle breaks, five tries and 174 metres per game, the former Eel was a force to be reckoned with in the Holden Cup in 2016.
The 20-year-old split his time between centre and the back-row at club and representative level where he played in the backline for the Junior Kangaroos, featured in the forwards for the Junior Blues, and was named on the bench in the NYC Team of the Year.
According to new teammate Kyle Turner, the sky is the limit for the rampaging rookie.
"He's going great guns. He's eager to learn off the older boys in the squad and you can tell already how fast and strong he is," Turner told NRL.com.
"He's going to be a force to be reckoned with this year, and if he stays injury free then I have no doubt he'll play first grade. He's been mentored a bit by Bryson Goodwin and he's willing to learn as much as possible from people with first-grade experience.
"He's such a hard guy to tackle so I think a game like the Nines will really suit him."