The last time James Slipper was in Newcastle he played in a Test loss for the Wallabies against Scotland on a wind-whipped and rain-soaked midweek night.
Eight years on from that 2012 fixture, the loosehead prop returns to the region but this time with the ACT Brumbies squad as they relocate because of bushfires near Canberra.
Slipper's hoping these memories in the Hunter, leading into the 2020 Super Rugby season which kicks off January 31, aren't quite as painful.
"It's probably the worst conditions I've ever played rugby in," Slipper said.
"It's probably one game I don't look back fondly on."
Slipper, 30, admitted he was feeling the pre-season pinch at the University of Newcastle on Tuesday in what was just his second session back from a 10-week break post last year's World Cup in Japan.
"There's a few of us that had an extended rest period after the World Cup so we're pretty hungry to get back in and try to catch up with the boys who have been training the last five weeks. But it was a pretty tough day. Humid conditions, so we were struggling a bit," he said.
Slipper said a new-look Brumbies side, minus the likes of David Pocock and Henry Speight, were capable of topping the Australian conference again and he was confident the recent change in location wouldn't derail their campaign.
"I think we've got the potential to," Slipper said.
"If you look at our squad, there's a lot of youth and enthusiasm there.
"The big factor is we want to start the season well, get a few wins together and build that confidence and momentum that pushes you through the season."
Looking further ahead, Slipper said he was keen to welcome back former Brumbies halfback, Wallabies teammate and Maitland junior Nic White to Canberra in 2021 once his contract at English club Exeter expires.
"With his experience and his age, you've got that leadership role," Slipper said.
"By him playing halfback, obviously he's got his hands on the ball and really puts his influence on the game."
The Brumbies, who will be based in Newcastle until at least next week, are looking to hold an open training session on Thursday.
Meanwhile, off the field and the Brumbies have joined forces with fellow major sporting teams in Canberra to provide support for the volunteers and those affected by the current bushfire crisis sweeping the region they represent via the #WeAreOne campaign.
"It's been tough. Obviously the whole of Australia has been affected by it and it's quite sobering to watch some of the stories coming out of it," Slipper said.
"I arrived in Canberra on the weekend and it was evident by all the smoke at the ground, you could hardly see 50 metres in front of you so it was pretty daunting.
"It's something [where] we all have to get together and do our bit to support the people affected."
While you're with us, did you know the Newcastle Herald offers breaking news alerts, daily email newsletters and more? Keep up to date with all the local news - sign up here