When Luther Robinson decided to swap the mud pools and hot springs of Rotorua for the 'Sapphire City' he only intended it to be for a year - a chance to experience life in another country and play a bit of rugby.
Ten years later he is still here, and has become the Highlanders' leader, literally and figuratively.
Appointed the first grade captain before last season, at the club's presentation night the inspirational number eight cleaned up; winning the best and fairest, players' player and footballer of the year.
An impressive haul, the one that meant the most to the 32-year old was the players' player.
"That's the most special to me," he said.
"They're (players) the one's that respect you want the most."
Robinson originally came out to Inverell in 2011 after the Highlanders scouted him through the Inside Running recruitment agency.
Young, single and with no real responsibilities, he had put his name down on a bit of a whim, really. He "wasn't really planning on anything happening".
But the Highlanders obviously liked what they saw.
Robinson made an instant impression, taking out the best and fairest in his first year.
He then moved up to Brisbane, playing a few seasons of premier suburban rugby, before returning to Inverell in 2016 after his wife, who is from Inverell, finished uni.
Since then it has been a bit of an up and down ride with the Highlanders.
"While the drought was running so was the winning percentages," Robinson joked.
"It seems to be getting better now."
Building on the improvement they showed in 2019, the Highlanders were for a lot of this season pushing for a finals berth, and notched some notable results including their biggest ever win over Moree and their first over Walcha in more than seven years (they went on to beat the Rams twice).
But in the end they "probably didn't quite do enough".
Robinson said their inconsistency was probably where they fell down.
"Games that we probably should have won we dropped them and games we were close enough to winning, we didn't win," he said.
Injuries in key positions and a bit of a lack of experience also played a part.
Looking towards next season Robinson is excited about the potential.
"I think the average age is about 23, 24," he said.
"It should be pretty exciting for us next year, if we can get a good pre-season in."
Harry Goddard was judged the most improved while Scott Houston and Tom Scotton shared the coaches award.
Liliana Reardon was named the best and fairest, and also footballer of the year for the women's 7s while Hannah Crisp picked up the players player.
Seru Pepeli Momo received the best and fairest for second grade and Sitiveni Tawase the players' player.
Applications are open for coaching positions for the 2022 season. See the club's website and Facebook page for more details.
First grade: Best & Fairest - Luther Robinson, Most Improved - Harry Goddard, Coaches Award - Scott Houston, Tom Scotton, Players Player - Luther Robinson, Footballer of the Year - Luther Robinson
Women's 7s: Best & Fairest - Liliana Reardon, Most Improved - Leilani Tevaga, Coaches Award - Brooke McKinnon, Players Player - Hannah Crisp, Footballer of the Year - Liliana Reardon, Central North Rep Players - Liliana Reardon, Brooke McKinnon, Leilani Tevaga.
Second grade: Best & Fairest - Seru Pepeli Momo, Most Improved - Will Vivers, Coaches Award -Toby Simpson, Llaitia Nataucu, Players Player - Sitiveni Tawase.
Services to Rugby - Ariki Wineti
Club Person of the Year - Scott Houston
Spirit of Rugby - Siaki Maea
Presidents Award - John Hodgens.
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