Lee Price says his weekend shifts for the Port Macquarie Sharks can be more enjoyable at times than his weekday ones.
The front-rower moved to the Mid North Coast from Central West NSW after gaining a transfer as an officer from Wellington to Kempsey jail.
He missed the first month of the Group 3 rugby league season as he packed up and moved east, but since his first game for the Sharks he hasn't missed a beat.
"It was mainly a work and lifestyle change when I got the opportunity to move down this way and it's a good spot, Port, so I'll look to stay here for as long as I can," he said.
While the bumps and bruises are a weekly reminder of the physicality of bush footy, Price admitted sport provided the outlet he needed.
"It's a different world in there (in the jail)," he said.
"You need an outlet and sport is my outlet where I can get away from work."
The 25-year-old conceded him and the Sharks had plenty of work to do if they were going to challenge Wauchope for the premiership on the last Sunday in September.
"We're winning matches, but it's pretty scrappy," he said.
"I'd hate to be a supporter and watch us play every week because our performances aren't good enough at the moment to win a comp."
Individually Price conceded he had been working hard with captain James Kelly on small aspects of his game that needed improvement.
But he still had a lot to offer.
"I missed the first five weeks where I was a little unfit but I'm starting to get a lot fitter and putting in the hard work at training so I just try to do the best job I can for the team.
"A forward pack's got to lead from the front and make sure they do the job."
After spending several seasons playing in Group 11, Price said he was impressed with the standard of the Group 3 competition.
"Group 3 is strong, but the pace of Group 11 is a bit quicker out there," he said.
"Across the park in Group 11 you have more standouts than you do here, but here is still a pretty good standard."
The Sharks have matches against Port City on Sunday at Laurieton, followed by Old Bar and then Taree City before their first semi-final on the first weekend of September.
They will be almost at full-strength.
"We've got two big weeks ahead with Breakers and then Old Bar, but we definitely have the team to do the job," he said.
"We all have to play our part."
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