Paddy Bowen's passion for rugby union has spanned many different roles over the years - player, coach, president, and taken him around the world.
And now back to where it all began.
Bowen is the new NSW Waratahs' development officer for the north west in what is the latest chapter in a story that started back in Tamworth over 30 years ago now.
"I was born here, my mum was a teacher in the area," he said.
"I'm a physio and being on the coast there's a physio on every corner," Bowen said.
"My partner is from Tamworth and we made the decision it was a better place for us, better opportunities."
They have since welcomed a daughter - Darby, who is nine months old and Bowen has landed what is in his mind a pretty dream job.
"It's a pretty good gig to take over, and rugby is the social fabric in a lot of these towns in the Central North and New England," he said.
"It's a bit of a dream job in that aspect, it's not really a hard sell to drive around and talk footy."
Bowen has over the years got to enjoy some of the best experiences that rugby can offer.
After school he was a bit of a rugby nomad for a while, travelling around and playing with different club sides overseas.
He spent time in America, England and Ireland to name just a few countries.
"I loved the travel, loved the experience of rugby," he said.
He was set on the coaching pathway when he suffered a brain injury during a game and was forced to hang up the boots.
"It was just a bit of a nothing tackle and I thought I just had a bit of concussion and just went home after the game," Bowen recalled.
The next morning when he woke up he was having problems with his vision. Still he wasn't really worried about it, it was more the thumb he thought he had broken, again.
Deciding to go to the hospital to get that attended to, after telling the doctor about his vision issues, the doctor informed Bowen he was more concerned about that than his thumb.
He was found to have hydrocephalus, or 'water on the brain', which is a build-up of fluid in the cavities deep within the brain.
"I probably played 20 games after that but never had the appetite," he said.
Initially he stepped away from the game, but it lured him back, albeit in a very different capacity.
"When I was over on the Mid North Coast I started a rugby club from scratch - the Wauchope Thunder," Bowen said.
"I got into coaching more out of necessity; it was all hands on deck."
From there "it just snowballed".
In late 2018 he was appointed the NSW Country Corellas coach having coached the under-17s the previous year. He was also involved with the UNE Aon Uni 7s program and has coached overseas with the Stars US 7s, which, as he explained, is a bit of a US invitational development team.
One of the things Bowen said attracted him to the development role was trying to "keep the game fresh and buzzing in numbers" in a climate where participation, as it is across most sports, is dwindling, and making sure that rugby "stays in the social fabric of the community".
"I'm passionate about country rugby, it's given so much to me as far as development as a coach, and opportunities," he said.
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