Te Awamutu's Nathan White is part of Toyota Verblitz's coaching staff in the Japan Top League but prior to that, he had an eventful rugby career himself.
The former Waikato, Chiefs and Irish prop was born in Hāwera, before moving north to Te Awamutu at a young age where he attended Te Awamutu Primary, Te Awamutu Intermediate and Te Awamutu College.
White played all of his New Zealand club rugby for Te Awamutu Sports & Recreation Club, starting at the age of 7, all the way through to premier level.
"When I left school I played for the TA Sports Under-21 team [coached by Mark Irwin and Rod Ward] and the following year into the premier team [Jim Kirkham]," says 40-year-old White.
"Looking back through all those years there was a good group of us that played together (rugby and cricket), went to school together and became great mates.
"There was a great group of older players and management at the club that made us all welcome and taught us a thing or two about life!"
White made his National Provincial Championship debut for Waikato in 2002, as a 21-year-old, in a 20-minute cameo off the bench in a pre-season match against Hawke's Bay.
"It was not until 2004 that I was named as part of the full squad. It was my childhood dream to play for Waikato; I grew up watching the great Waikato teams of the '90s and early 2000s," says White.
"The first rugby game I went to was the '92 final when Waikato beat Otago. I was never much into Super Rugby as I thought it was made up of teams that had no tradition or history."
From 2002-2011, White pulled on the red, yellow and black stripes 77 times.
In 2006, he started at prop in the Air New Zealand Cup grand final where Waikato defeated Wellington 37-31, claiming their first premiership since that final White had attended 14 years earlier.
White also made his Super Rugby debut for the Chiefs during 2006.
"A lot of the NPC teams had All Blacks playing for them back when I started, so most weeks you were able to test yourself against one them, but the step up to Super you played teams that were full of international players week in week out. The intensity was higher and collisions bigger and more physical," he says.
"My first couple of years involved with the Chiefs there was a lot of continuity from our Super season to NPC with staff and players, so the transition in that regard was made easy."
He captained the Mooloos in 2010 and 2011 before heading abroad.
"[Captaining Waikato] was something that I had always wanted to do. I felt a big responsibility and I wanted to do my best leading the team. I was lucky enough to have a few great captains in Steven Bates, Jono Gibbes, Tom Willis to watch and learn from," he said.
"It was great to have Chris Gibbes as the head coach then, he held me accountable in any action or decision. The biggest disappointment in my career was losing both finals we made (2010 and 2011)."
White headed to Ireland where he played a season for Irish powerhouse club Leinster.
From there, he signed a contract with Connacht, joining them ahead of the 2012-2013 season. He went on to play 58 matches for the club.
In 2014, White qualified to play for Ireland through the three-year residency rule.
He was named in the Irish squad for the end of year tests, but a bicep injury ruled him out until the New Year.
On August 15, 2015, at age 33, White made his international debut off the bench in a 28–22 win over Scotland in the second of Ireland's 2015 Rugby World Cup warm-up matches.
White appeared in 13 tests for Ireland, which included four starts, before he was forced to retire in September 2016 due to ongoing concussion problems.
"Yes, 33 is quite old to make an international debut, but I got there. As a family we loved Ireland. Everything about it, the people, the culture, we had a great time," says White.
"Every person we met made us feel so welcome. I am an Irish citizen now.
"To get to go to the 2015 World Cup was the highlight of my career. The six weeks together as a team was amazing, unfortunately it was two weeks short after losing the quarter-final to Argentina.
"To get to experience Six Nations rugby was an amazing experience - day time rugby, the crowds pouring out of bars into the stadiums, the history and rivalries, crowds singing and the big stadiums."
White's biggest inspiration to play rugby was former All Black Zinzan Brooke, who he looked up to as a kid.
"The skills he had as a forward and his ability to execute on the biggest stage week in week out and he worked hard with a like-minded group of people."
These days, White, his wife and four children live in Nagoya, Japan, where he is the forwards coach for Toyota Verblitz, after previously spending time involved with the Waikato Rugby Union coaching staff.