A tough pre-season was put into perspective for Knights back-rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon and his teammates on farms around drought-ravaged Tamworth on Tuesday.
Newcastle continued their week-long pre-season camp at Tamworth under new coach Adam O'Brien with early morning trips to nearby farms to lend a helping hand.
Fitzgibbon said the squad had been "putting in the work on and off the field and it's been really rewarding".
"It was really good," Fitzgibbon said of the farm visits.
"It's a new experience for me especially.
"I was out about an hour away at a cattle farm and I got up there about 5.30 and was feeding the cattle in the morning, then I went and did some fencing.
"It was just a little taste of what they go through day in, day out. Especially at the moment, during the hard times, it's good to give back.
"It's pre-season training, it's always hard, but especially up here. But putting it into context of what the farmers go through, it's not really comparable.
"We've got a start and finish date and the guys out here ... they're fighting for their livelihood and no one is sure when the rain's going to come, so it's nothing compared to what they are going through."
AAP reports: Immortal Wally Lewis has slammed NRL player managers, saying there is no longer club loyalty as Latrell Mitchell's contract saga drags on.
Mitchell, the 22-year-old Kangaroos and Sydney Roosters star, has been linked to arch rivals South Sydney in recent days and a decision about his future is reportedly to be made this week.
Lewis says the way players are traded between clubs these days "pisses him off".
"I'm not a fan of the way players are being traded now, there's no such thing as club loyalty anymore," said at the Jack Newton Celebrity Classic. "That pisses me off."
The Sydney Morning Herald reported the Roosters have told Mitchell's management they want him off the books by January 1. The Rabbitohs have re-emerged as his possible destination.
However, salary cap space would depend on whether Souths re-sign Cody Walker or lure Gold Coast forward Jai Arrow as a replacement for Sam Burgess.
It's understood there is still a deal available for Mitchell at the Wests Tigers worth more than $1 million per season.
With just two weeks to go until the new year, negotiations look set to drag into 2020 and well into the pre-season.
Lewis took aim at the player managers who facilitate moves to chase bigger dollars.
"A lot of players said years ago that player managers were the most despised people in the game," he said.
"A contract is not worth the paper it's written on. Why not just say 'you give me the money and I'll come there'?
"You don't need a contract saying 'I'll be here for five years' because you know that's not going to be the case. It's a farce."