Former Te Awamutu Sports outside back Ryan "Meachy" Meacheam, 36, has done it all from club level all the way to the international arena.
Meacheam grew up in the countryside near Te Awamutu and started playing rugby at age 5 for Te Awamutu Sports.
He attended Te Awamutu College before playing a season of Under 21 rugby for Sports in 2004.
Waikato Under 20, Waikato Under 23, Emerging Players and the Waikato Sevens side were just a few of his representative achievements.
Meacheam made his Te Awamutu Sports premier debut in 2005 and with his skills and speed, soon found himself called upon by a new NPC (National Provincial Championship) province.
"I was in Nelson when the Tasman Mako first started (2006), I was taken down there and was in the squad for a season. It was [current Waikato Rugby Union manager] Mike Crawford who got me down there," he says.
"When I got there it was like the wild west, it was a mixed bag of a whole lot of people. Some Canterbury guys had come up and there were a few sprinkles of people from all over the place."
He played/trained alongside the likes of Crusaders assistant coach Andrew Goodman and Highlanders assistant coach Shane Christie, and represented the oldest rugby club in New Zealand, Nelson Rugby Football Club.
"I didn't think I was going to get much game time so I was only down there for a year and a half and then came back to play for TA Sports.
"I probably didn't take rugby seriously enough and that was probably the time I needed to if I was going to make the step up and have a good crack at it. I was probably a bit blasé about it and thought it would happen."
Upon his return north, Meacheam was to become a veteran of five national sevens tournaments, having first played for Waikato at the 2005 nationals and was a member of the 2010 national champion side.
He played in excess of 60 matches for the team.
Then Waikato Sevens manager David Fox told the Te Awamutu Courier that Meacheam was their "go to man".
"He was a more than useful 15-a-side club player but sevens was his game. He was an outstanding communicator and organiser on defence.
"We used him as a sweeper and as a first receiver because of those skills, and he could kick goals to boot.''
Fox says Meacheam had a "big engine" and played big minutes.
"He was very good at the key attributes of sevens - never giving up and always being in the game.
"Meachy was always a very good team man and a hell of a good fella to have around the team environment."
2011 saw the Waikato Sevens side, including Meacheam, Te Awamutu Sports club mates Jono Armstrong, Cohen Masson, Mark Murray and assistant coach Fox, fly to Scotland to contest the 128th Melrose Sevens – the world's oldest sevens tournament.
The trip came about through Fox, who had represented for Melrose in his playing days.
Fox spent a lot of time with Meacheam both coaching and managing him at club, representative and provincial level.
"I made him captain of the Te Awamutu sub-union team in 2011. I think it surprised him but he actually had really good leadership skills and a good rugby brain on him," says Fox.
"We beat Hamilton that year, what had basically been set up as a Waikato B team, as there was no B competition due to the [2011 Rugby] World Cup. We turned around and spanked them six tries to two."
July 2012 saw Meacheam become the 14th player to reach a century games for Te Awamutu Sports, hitting the milestone with a win over Morrinsville at Campbell Park, and slotting a conversion on fulltime.
"[Playing 100 games] is something you don't really think about until it's knocking on the door and I'm very happy I stayed at TA Sports and got the hundy on the board. I don't think you really realise what a big deal it is or how important it is to you until you stop playing rugby," says Meacheam.
"I went overseas the season after my 100 games and ended up going to Hong Kong. It was a short season over there so I thought I'd go over there and give it a crack. I ended up staying there for five years."
Three years after his arrival he was selected for the Hong Kong Sevens national side.
"I love sevens a lot more [than 15s] and that was probably my better game. So obviously I always wanted to have a crack at New Zealand Sevens after playing Waikato Sevens for a few years. But even if I had given it a crack, if I made it, I might have been a one tournament or two tournament type of guy. So going over to play for Hong Kong, I sort of knew that it was an opportunity if I was there long enough," he says.
"I remember in the Hong Kong Sevens, we shared changing rooms with other teams. We were sharing with the New Zealand team at one time and that was when Sonny-Bill [Williams] was playing, that was a bit weird.
"Putting on the jersey, I think you're proud, but it wasn't the same. It wasn't emotional or anything like that. It was like playing for another club sort of thing - with guys who grew up in Hong Kong it would have felt a bit different for them.
"I played alongside a couple of other Kiwi boys who ended up getting rid of their New Zealand passports so they could try and play for Hong Kong in the Olympics. It was a bit of a strange feeling."
After a standout season for HKRU Premiership league and Grand Championship winners Societe Generale Valley in 2016, Meacheam made his international 15s debut for Hong Kong against Japan in the Asia Rugby Championship (ARC) at Hong Kong Football Club.
He went on to earn two international test caps, play nine Hong Kong qualifying matches and score one try before returning to New Zealand.
"Hong Kong was kicking off with protests so it was a good time to come back. Janelle, my wife, was pregnant and we wanted to be around family."
Upon his return in 2018, he linked up with Mount Maunganui Rugby Club for a final swan song, also starting up his own plastering and cladding business.
"With kids and getting into a business, that sort of took up all my time and I lost the keenness to be running around in the wet and cold."
Meacheam says his career highlight was the people he met all over the globe.
"Rugby has just been awesome for taking me around places and meeting people. It helps shape you as a person. Travelling and getting overseas, experiencing different cultures had been a big part of that."
But with all the travel, Te Awamutu Sports and Waikato are his rugby home, the place his heart lays.
"There was always a good environment at TA Sports which was made by the boys and coaches. There were always good coaches, Martyn Steffert, Kerry Eynon in the senior teams and the surrounding club men too," says Meacheam.
"It was the people I met along the way and the coaches I had - guys you play with are the biggest memories. We made semis a few times [at Te Awamutu Sports] but the people you meet are what bring you the most enjoyment."