When Joe Evans runs on to the field against his old club, Rob College, in a top-of-the-table clash between undefeated teams in Armidale on Saturday, his life will achieve balance.
During the week he is Dr Evans - a second-year medic learning the ropes at Tamworth Hospital (he recently rotated to the intensive care unit). On the weekend he is Joe - Tamworth's inside centre, who specialises in applying the defensive screws to opposition offence.
The 26-year-old, Dubbo-raised high-achiever - one of the competition's most inform players - realised early into his high school experience that he probably had a calling: to become a doctor. He said that knowledge incubated "in the back of my mind" throughout high school. "And I got to the end of school and no other bright ideas had come through my head, so I decided to go for it."
He was motivated to become a doctor because he was "always fascinated by the human body, and the effect doctors can have on people who come in with diseases". He was also inspired by his mother, Lucy, who is a nurse.
"You see people at their lowest ebb sometimes, and it can be heartbreaking at times," he said. "But it is really satisfying to be able to identify a problem in someone and give them the proper treatment and see them go home healthy."
Throughout this worthiest of pursuits has been rugby. It's the yin to the former Dubbo Roo's doctoring yang: two contrasting forces in a notable young life that combine to make him whole.
"I think that looking from the outside it might look like a bit of a balancing act [juggling them both] but it kind of helps having one and the other," he said.
"You know, it's nice to be able to blow off some steam by going to training and going to games on the weekend ... I quite like doing the both of them. It kind of helps me keep going."
When he was studying medicine at the University of Armidale, he spent three seasons with Robb College - beginning in 2014. That was the year Robb co-coach Sam Ditchfield moved him from halfback to centre. "I think it was the fact that I was willing to take on the line a bit ... And not wanting to blow my own trumpet, but my defence is not bad."
Evans joined Tamworth in 2016 when he began work at the base hospital while still studying. He left the following year to finish his degree in Newcastle, returning to the base hospital and the Magpies in 2018 following graduation.
For the first time, Evans is doing the goal-kicking at second-placed Tamworth, who, like reigning premiers Robb, are undefeated after four games.
He said no one in first grade at Tamworth was "irreplaceable". The club is atop the ladder in second grade and third grade.
"We've got a good bunch of people, not just in first grade but club wide," he said. "It's really good to have everyone firing on all cylinders."
Tamworth coach Peter Burke said Evans played "above his size". The mentor added: "He's dedicated, he's fit, he tackles anything that comes at him, he's a pleasure to coach. He's just one of those footballers that you need in your club if you're going to be successful."