LIAM Krautz knows firsthand, whether it's rugby union or being on the ground in the Australian Defence Force, it's crucial to work as a team.
The 28-year-old will return to the Southern Inland representative fold when when they take on Monaro and South Coast in the Brumbies Provincial Championship in Canberra on Saturday.
It's the first time the Albury openside flanker will pull on the red, white and black jersey since departing to complete his RAAF paramedic training after the Steamers' 2015 grand final win.
Krautz is unsure whether he will return to the RAAF, where he was posted in Dubai and spent time in Afghanistan, after taking six months off.
But his sabbatical only strengthens a strong Southern Inland team which has traditionally dominated.
"It's just part of the job. You have your good days and bad days, we all got through it which was good," Krautz said.
"It's always nerve racking but you've got to have that mentality for it and how you deal with it. It was a good experience though.
"All you think is the sun will rise again, you try and laugh it off and you're all in it together.
"I played a bit of representative stuff with the ADF and that's about it. "We played against New Zealand sides, it's good to play that level and bring that professionalism back to the Albury club and Southern Inland.
"I had a chance to play in the Dubai comp but missed out, I had to go to Afghanistan at the time. That would have been a highlight."
Monaro and South Coast will field separate teams after playing as a combined unit in recent years, with teams to play two 50-minute games.
It raises fears Southern Inland's dominance will only increase, but Krautz is hopeful their rivals will step up.
"They were always tough together so to separate the regions, it's good to see that many players get a chance and rise to the occasion," Krautz said.
"You have to take more opportunities when they're presented (in the 50-minute format), it will be a faster paced game."
New Southern Inland coach Nick McCarthy said he supported the decision to split Monaro and South Coast, giving more players a chance to be exposed to a higher level.
"They were trying to bring a Tasmanian team but a few things fell over. By the time that happened, they'd already picked separate sides," McCarthy said.
"I think it's good for rugby, the more guys that are exposed to rep footy out of their zones the better.
"Yes,they would have been a bit stronger (combined), but it exposes more players to rep footy."
A Brumbies provincial squad will be named after the championships.
Southern Inland squad: 1 Rob Whiltshire (Waratahs), 2 Tom Boyle (c, Albury), 3 Nathan Seymour (Wagga City), 4 Liam Mowbray (WAC), 5 Eroni Nava (Leeton), 6 Andries De Meyer (Griffith), 7 Liam Krautz (Albury), 8 Menzie Seumanutafa (Tumut), 9 Sam Hobbs (Waratahs), 10 Stephen Gill (Tumut), 11 Semi Rokocinono (Leeton), 12 David Serukai (Griffith), 13 Lochlan Ramm (WAC), 14 Vaughn Scott (Tumut), 15 Callum Ramm (Waratahs), 16 Sainivalati Ratudradra (Leeton), 17 Apimeleki Kaloudonu (Kula,Griffith), 18 Michael Tuilau (Wagga City), 19 Luke Turner (WAC), 20 Chris Latu (Griffith), 21 Jayden Stanton (Wagga City), 22 Coen Potter (Tumut), 23 Jake Makeham (Waratahs).