Vodafone Warriors hooker Karl Lawton is no stranger to Tamworth, the quarantine base for the team ahead of the resumption of the NRL season.
When he was with the Gold Coast Titans, he visited Australia's country music capital for community appearances.
"My Dad's best mate is also here so I've been to Tamworth to see him," he said.
"It's always nice to come back. They treat you like it's home.
"They're lovely people and have done a great job of taking us in. Can't complain. The food's unreal."
The circumstances are much changed this time being locked inside the hotel and training precinct but Lawton said he and the players have relished being back together as a group and resuming training.
He also welcomed the extra competition for the hooking spot now Nate Roache had joined them in camp
At the same time, Lawton is feeling for front rower Jackson Frei, whom he and fellow forward Josh Curran share a house with in Auckland.
Frei is one of three Vodafone Warriors players recovering from season-ending ACL surgery along with fellow prop Bunty Afoa and centre Taane Milne.
Frei had his operation just over a week ago while Milne had his surgery last week.
“The big fella has been through some tough times and you feel for him," said Lawton.
"My partner is looking after him back in Auckland and he's doing a really good job with his recovery. He’s on the ball with that sort of thing.
"I’ve spoken to him nearly every day. He's chewed my ear off but he's doing well."