For former Whanganui rugby representative Daniel Kauika, his "second chance" at a rugby career was everything he hoped it to be and has given him the confidence he can make it to the next level.
Kauika was one of five contestants on Second Chance Charlie, a television show made for rugby players whose first chance at the professional game didn't go their way.
While he didn't win the competition, Kauika said the experience was everything he hoped it would be.
"It was an amazing experience, I loved every moment of it. It has helped me grow as person, player and boyfriend. It helped all five of us get our foot in the door."
Kauika signalled significant growth in his rugby game since the beginning of the show - in which he teamed up with the Blues franchise - and achieved what he wanted to during the show.
"My first goal was to grow in confidence and I can definitely tell it's done that. Family and friends have noticed the difference as well."
Being an operator in the Navy for the past few years prepared him for the gruelling physical challenges and training for the show.
"The training and that was very similar to Navy basic training. I focused on training and nutrition, and basic training is a lot like that."
Kauika was admittedly nervous walking onto the training pitch with some of world rugby's biggest names in Dan Carter and Beauden Barrett.
"To be honest, it was for the first instant, but they're basically guys just doing their job," he said.
"You just have to treat them as your friends, really, and they did the same thing for me, as if I was already one of them. That made it so much easier to train around them in their environment."
Training with the Blues helped Kauika prove to himself that he can play at the highest level if he puts his mind to it.
"Seeing them just motivated me to push hard and get to their level.
"Just seeing their level of fitness, their attitude towards trainings and their routines was like, 'Yeah I want to be there. That's the dream.'"
Kauika credited halfback Sam Nock with helping him during his time with the side and has already noticed improvements in his game with the Navy rugby side.
"I was learning off him and I've implemented some of his strategies and philosophies into my own personal training."
Although he didn't win the competition, Kauika won the hearts of Kiwis across the country and was awarded the 2degrees People's Choice for their favourite Charlie, pocketing himself $5000.
Honoured to win the award, Kauika wasn't sure what people saw in him, but suspects some people helped him secure the win.
"I can definitely tell my family voted a few times."
He plans on putting the money towards a mortgage on a house with his partner Bailee, he says, adding: "Five grand isn't much to put towards a mortgage, but it's gonna chip away and help out."
Kauika is using the experience as motivation to achieve his dream of landing a Super Rugby contract.
"As long as you have that mental drive and determination to keep going and put the work in, anyone can get there and that's what I'm striving for.
"In my opinion my journey doesn't stop here, for sure. I'm going to keep pushing on till I make it."