Matt Giteau has been reunited with his young family after more than five weeks apart now the Giltinis players have finally moved into their homes in Los Angeles.
A pre-season camp in Maui followed by the team “bubble” in Oxnard for the opening two games had kept the squad in suitcases until now.
Former Wallaby Giteau is not the only one relishing a reunion now wife Bianca and their three kids, Levi, Kai and baby Winter, have flown in from Australia.
Canadian winger DTH van der Merwe flew to Seattle in the bye week to meet his wife Gillian so kids Nola, Lochie and Harlow could pile into a rental truck with belongings for a Griswolds-style road trip to their new LA home.
There have been stories like that across the Giltinis squad which has a family feel more than ever.
For five-eighth Giteau, the progress on the field with the club’s 2-0 start and 15 tries has been highly encouraging.
“I think in the second game we started to understand each other better and what we were trying to do,” Giteau said of the 57-26 thrashing of the Seattle Seawolves.
“We are working on different things to get variety, like our plays off lineouts, because when teams start to read you, there need to be other ways to outsmart them.
“The beauty of this week is that we’ve finally had a chance to enjoy LA rather than living out of a suitcase.
“Now the family has arrived this new life experience is starting to feel more real.”
Irish flanker Harry McNulty and Scottish fullback Glenn Bryce have settled on being housemates just a few minutes from Venice Beach.
It’s a far cry from the wet, cold and overcast weather that often shrouds their countries at this time of the year.
The pair may need some navigational advice. Their trip to pick up a car in Victorville turned into a seven-hour odyssey before they made it home.
Bryce was an excellent contributor against the Seawolves with nine runs for 61m and his safety under the high kick put up in the opening minute.
Twenty-eight players have got on the field in two games and McNulty is eager to join them.
“I was late arriving because of the whole visa thing and going to Bermuda to get my paperwork done so I’ve got to wait for my time,” McNulty said.
“It’s amazing just playing at the Coliseum. We have the biggest locker room I’ve been in for 23 players when it’s built for the 53 of an NFL team.”
PLAYER WATCH: Luke White (lock): 1 try; 9 runs for 70m, 4 tackle busts, 11 tackles, 19 ruck/maul arrivals, 4 lineout wins.
CENTRE OF ATTENTION: Adam Ashley-Cooper (centre): 1 try, 11 runs for 90m, 4 tackle busts, 13 tackles, 14 ruck/maul arrivals.
SUPER SUB: Langilangi Haupeakai (flanker): 30 min, 5 runs for 27m, 6 tackles, 7 ruck/maul arrivals.
Courtesy: Stats Perform via MLR
DID YOU KNOW?
The grandfather of flanker Angus Cottrell captained Australia’s rugby team, the Wallabies. Nev “Notchy” Cottrell was a tough hooker who played 14 Tests and won three of his seven Tests against the All Blacks between 1949-1952.
Billy Meakes – Centre (fractured cheekbone)
Sione Tuihalamaka – Prop (tricep)