When he's not demolishing opposing scrums and laying on crunching tackles, powerful prop George Bower has emerged as the loveable feel-good phenomenon in Crusaders camp.
Bower is in Coogee, New South Wales at the moment with his Cantabrian teammates, halfway through a roadtrip that includes Super Rugby Transtasman matchups with the Reds in Brisbane and the Waratahs in Wollongong.
The first half of the jump across the ditch was a success with a profound 63-28 win over the Queenslanders, where Bower played his part in a formidable forwards performance.
Prior to his rugby career taking off in 2020 - where Bower enjoyed a meteoric rise into the top echelon of New Zealand rugby players, seeing him earn a first-time call-up to the All Blacks squad for last year's Rugby Championship - he ventured down the avenue of teaching as an option and has also developed skills as a barber, singer and guitarist.
The 29-year-old is putting his varied expertise to good use in and around his teammates to try and keep morale high.
"[I] actually forgot the guitar at home which is probably the main instrument to carry on a tour. But yeah trying to find other ways to keep the boys entertained, playing music and just singing aloud. Definitely enjoy hyping the boys up, pre-game and post-game," Bower says.
"My old mate Sevu Reece actually got a haircut in Brisbane last week and he didn't fancy it, so he had to come back to me and I cleaned him up and he reckons it's close to one of the best haircuts he's had, so I'll take it.
"Still got the clippers here if the boys are needing a cutting case of emergency, and willing to keep the boys fresh and clean before the games."
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The team also celebrated Richie Mo'unga's birthday today, and Bower promised he would lead the singing during team meetings. He's even floated the idea of shouting Mo'unga breakfast at a waffle house near their accommodation.
Super Rugby teams travelling abroad together has become a foreign luxury over the last 12 months amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Bower says it's important to make the most of trips, but he also doesn't want to lose sight of what his priority in the team is.
"Travelling even last year, you've got to enjoy it but when the time comes to team meet or to train you've got to switch on, and have switch on or switch off buttons. In that way you enjoy the tour, you enjoy the game continue you go through."
Usual incumbent Joe Moody's foot injury has made Bower the first-choice loosehead prop packing down in the Crusaders scrum. He's enjoying the extra minute she's getting on the field as a result.
"I've been hitting the sauna lot more than what I usually do, but I'm loving every moment of being on the field. It's definitely increased the lung capacity; I probably wouldn't have been able to play that amount of minutes a couple of years ago. I'm feeling good and feeling fit around the field. It's awesome just getting those extra minutes and being able to get that standard up."
Bower will no doubt be called upon again to put his intimidating 1.83 metre, 115 kg frame to good use against the Waratahs on Saturday, where the Crusaders will have a chance to make it three wins from three to start the campaign.