NZ Warriors star Shaun Johnson has been called on for a little unexpected pre-season power training during his stint as Auckland Santa Parade grand marshall.
After an outstanding NRL season that saw the veteran turn back the clock on his career, finishing just one point away from the Dally M Medal, Johnson, 33, was given the honour of leading the annual Christmas festivities down Queen Street, but quickly found that came with unforeseen duties.
As he made his way down the city's main thoroughfare in a vintage car, the vehicle stalled and needed a push to get going again. Leaping from his seat at the back, Johnson motioned for members of the crowd to lend a hand and quickly had the car in motion again, with an 'all good' thumbs up.
Johnson's role in the parade completed a full-circle love of the event from his childhood.
"They reached out and asked if I'd be interested in it, and now that I've got a couple of kids of my own, it seems like a cool thing to do," he said.
Three-year-old daughter Millah was especially excited by the appointment.
"She's going to be pretty fizzed when we get out there and she gets to experience it," said Johnson beforehand. "Some of the floats and some of the performances she'll definitely recognise.
"It's obviously a bit of a buzz for me, but more of a buzz for her for sure."
Santa Parade festivities did not all go to plan over the weekend, when a BurgerFuel-branded car injuring two pedestrians during the Avondale procession, and occupants dragged out of the car and assaulted.
The pedestrains were taken to hospital with moderate to serious injuries.