KARMICHAEL Hunt doesn't get nervous before a big game, not even flustered.
It's 6.23pm when Hunt steps off the team bus, iPhone in hand and not a hint of anxiety as he wanders to the sheds with well-wishers welcoming him into the AFL.
An hour-and-a-half before his much-anticipated NAB Cup debut for the Gold Coast Suns and the former Kangaroos Test fullback is sitting contentedly inside the dressing rooms getting ready to play.
The Sunday Herald Sun was invited inside the Suns' rooms for an insight into the biggest moment of Hunt's high-profile defection to AFL.
Not his first game of Australian Rules - he ticked that box at a rain-soaked suburban Melbourne ground last year - but this is the first time against the big boys.
A live television game; a step up to the elite level and with a sell-out crowd of 10,000 waiting to see if he can cut it.
Every move will be monitored, even inside the dressing sheds, as we wait to see the slightest hint of nerves.
First he steps on the scales, then pulls his playing gear out of his bag.
Calmly he replaces the inner soles of his Nike boots and then pulls out a set of nail clippers. No chewing of the nails, just a relaxed manicure while cameras flash away.
He applies no strapping tape, just sips on his water and then gets dressed.
But before he can pull his socks right up he is interrupted with a whack behind the head.
The Reed sponsorship sign stuck to the wall above his locker falls from its small piece of adhesive tape and lands flush on Hunt's melon.
If ever he was going to crack, this would be the moment. Surely the tension would get the better of him. We wait and ... nothing.
He tosses it away, shares a laugh with rookie Alik Magin and Luke Russell, who were sitting beside him, but were not touched. It must be a sign.
Back to the socks. Thirty seconds later and bang. Another sign falls from the wall and now sits on top of his shoulders.
A trainer pulls it away. Hunt never lifts his head, never flinches. This guy is unflappable and now we know why.
We thought he'd struggle in the AFL, but he can actually play the game.
He started the game in a familiar position - fullback - and didn't take long to get involved in the contest with a quick handball to a teammate after 57 seconds as he was tackled over the boundary line by Ben McGlynn.
He was rested after 13:30, but his involvement had been ample up until then.
Two kicks, each of which hit the target, one mark, one handball, a strong shepherd on Adam Goodes, a double-fisted spoil and a heavy tackle on Dylan McNeil.
He didn't put a foot wrong.
He may have stood out because of his robust physique, chunky legs and awkward tan-line, but not because of a lack of ability.
He didn't have as much influence in the second half against the Swans and finished the game on the bench with cramping calf muscles after gathering six disposals, three marks and one tackle.
But he had done his job and the Suns had won by three points.
Swans coach John Longmire didn't watch Hunt too intently, but from what he saw he was reasonably impressed.
"I didn't notice him a lot because I wasn't looking for him to be honest," said Longmire. "But the times I saw him he did OK."
Hunt did more than OK on a number of occasions and showed some instinctive play against the Giants when he busted through a pack with the type of bulldozing style that he displayed in his days as a league star.
While his NAB Cup performances were much better than his VFL efforts last year, Hunt showed he has advanced far enough to suggest he wont be a liability for the Suns in 2011.
* Story courtesy of Todd Balym at The Daily Telegraph