Brumbies back rower Lachlan McCaffrey has sympathy and respect for the travails and travels of local NRL club Canberra.
But he reckons his team's initial Super Rugby AU opponent Melbourne Rebels aren't doing it so tough, despite also being forced on the road.
The Brumbies and Rebels meet at GIO Stadium on Saturday, the night after the Raiders play their first home game at the same venue in three and a half months, because of the NRL's shutdown and the measures implemented due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"I felt really sorry for the Raiders boys, they've had a really tough start to kicking off back the NRL," McCaffrey said.
"I think a lot of respect should be shown for them not whingeing, they haven't come out and whinged in the media, they've just got on with it and toughed it out.
"I'm really excited to watch them get back to GIO on Friday night.
The Rebels relocated to Canberra last Friday.
Aware that the Queensland government was looking to tighten restrictions around Victorian sports teams due to the coronavirus spike in Melbourne, the players were given 48 hours' notice to prepare for the shift.
"You say it's a struggle for them but they have probably been the winners from COVID," McCaffrey said.
"They are staying down at the Crowne Plaza and get to stay in Canberra for an extra week.
"They are training down at RMC (The Royal Military College), which has pretty good facilities and they don't have to travel on the day (of the game) so I think they're probably not too bad.
"I think they are enjoying all the golf courses around Canberra."
McCaffrey said the Brumbies always had a lot of respect for the way the Rebels play.
"They are tough, they try and go through teams," he said.
Resuming competition has delayed McCaffrey's marriage which was scheduled for last Friday, but he cheerfully admitted plenty of other people had been doing things tougher.
"A lot of people out there are losing businesses and a lot worse off than just having to rearrange a marriage or miss out on a little bit of footy," he said.