Hugh McMeniman's stocks are soaring after just two games back in Super Rugby.
He is Australia's top performing second-rower, with his numbers showing that, on average, he is carrying the ball more metres per game than his rivals.
And he will be out to add a few more points to his worth when he fronts his old Queensland teammates in Brisbane for the first time in four years tomorrow.
The forward played with scant regard for his own safety in recent matches in South Africa against the Southern Kings and the Bulls, proving he had lost none of the abrasive mongrel that earned him the nickname "Madness" while he was with the Reds.
Three hits in the Bulls clash highlighted what the 114kg, 200cm enforcer was capable of when he stopped Springboks full-back Zane Kirchner in his tracks, gave flanker Jacques Potgieter a headache in a bruising run and then levelled opposition second-rower Flip van der Merwe as he tried to bust through close to the Force line.
After three years of the less physical game in Japan, the former Wallaby relished the return to the crunching hits and tackles of South Africa.
"It was a good place to start. They are big boys and pretty rough. I knew what to expect. The contact was heavy, but I enjoy heavy contact," McMeniman said.
Many of the Reds will know what is coming their way when he unleashes his aggression at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow.
Queensland forwards and close mates Greg Holmes and Jake Schatz have already put him on red alert.
"They gave me a bit of niggle about not being here the last few years, so I think they will definitely welcome me back," McMeniman said.
"It's special because I get to play in front of my family and old friends which I haven't been able to do for a long time, but more importantly is what it means to the team.
"We achieved a lot from the Bulls game and we want to build on that. We are looking to replicate the attitude and feeling we had out there."
The Force have started negotiations to extend McMeniman's one-year contract as other clubs show interest in him.
"The Force have given me the opportunity to play Super Rugby again. I want to repay that and it would be ideal if I was in Perth this time next year," he said.
The Force initially signed McMeniman for one season from Kubota because both he and the club wanted to ensure he was up to the physical battering of Super Rugby after serious shoulder and knee injuries at the Reds and then spending three years in Japan.
The Force purse was also running low, but the Australian Rugby Union, sensing the value of McMeniman for the upcoming British Lions tour, came to the party and increased the offer.
McMeniman, 29, earned 21 caps for the Wallabies and made 29 Super Rugby appearances for the Reds before injuries cut short his Australian career. He headed to Japan.
He said his body had stood up well to the start of the Super season and he was on a training regime designed to keep it that way.
Super Rugby fixtures
Highlanders v Hurricanes, Waratahs v Cheetahs, Kings v Chiefs
TomorrowCrusaders v Bulls, Reds v Force, Sharks v Brumbies
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