Zac Guildford is enjoying the quiet life with Hawke's Bay but still hopes to play Super Rugby again in the future.
Guildford returned to New Zealand after just one season with Clermont in France.
The 26-year-old has had his share of off-field issues over the years but feels relaxed and is happy to be back home.
"It's been good, it's been awesome to be home. It's been a bit of a change from the style of rugby in France but it's good, I've got a lot of close friends here and obviously my family," Guildford told Stuff.
"It's just the simple things about being home, speaking English for one and going down to club rugby on Saturday and seeing friends and family all the time.
"I don't want to get too far ahead of myself and say I'm the perfect human because I know I'm far from that, but I think being back home is going a long way to keeping me on track."
Guildford's attention is now on shedding a few kilograms before knuckling down in the NPC in order to impress.
"Before I left I think I was about 95kgs, but now I've come back about 99 or 100kg – you can get away with that overseas but back here the game is much faster. Too much cheese and pastries or whatever I was eating over there," he said.
"I'd love to play Super Rugby, my best is still to come and hopefully you guys can see that as I play through the [NPC], I'm not looking too far ahead but obviously Super Rugby is a huge goal of mine still."