There's only one topic for chat when one Christchurch painting gang stops for smoko while it's doing its bit with the Christchurch rebuild.
With former Kiwi star Clayton Friend as boss and several other rugby league personalities in it, it's the 13-man footie code.
Friend, 50, moved to Christchurch two months before Christmas for post-earthquake work.
His first job here was painting the dorms at Christ's College, but most of it since has been residential work.
One of his workers is Willy Halligan, a former Kiwis assistant manager and Auckland league development officer, who is assistant coach of the South Island Scorpions.
Another is Dave Bell, who helped coach the Hornby side that won the grand final last month.
And well-known Christchurch league personality Wayne Wallace, a former Kiwi teammate of Friend, is also working for him after 37 years at the freezing works.
Most of their work is arranged through another prominent sportsman, bowler Gary Lawson.
Friend has been in painting and decorating since he retired from footie.
"I had a few friends in the painting game and they got me started,'' he said.
He was shocked with what he saw of the earthquake damage after, like many tradesmen, bringing his tools here to help in the recovery.
"Everyone's had different experiences,'' he said.
"It's still unbelievable. Certain parts of Christchurch are all there for you to see. I think it is improving - as long as it stops shaking.
"Obviously for some people it's not happening quick enough, but we are doing our best.''
Friend is one of the band who have played top level league in three countries.
He played 24 tests for New Zealand as halfback from 1982 to 1991, and as well as his playing days in Auckland he had four years with the old North Sydney club in the NRL and then helped Ryde-Eastwood win the Sydney metro grand final, and also played 10 seasons in England with Carlisle and Whitehaven.
Friend (left) looks for a gap during his league playing days.
Friend gets back up to Auckland every month to catch up with wife Joanne and his sons.
All three are all involved in league - Jordan, 27, is community programmes officer at the NZ Rugby League, Bodie, 30, is in the communications team at the Warriors, and Jethro, 20, played three matches for the Junior Warriors this year before breaking his ankle a month ago playing for Counties.
A Hornby supporter this year, Friend is needless to say an avid Warriors and NRL fan, and he feels the Bulldogs can do it in this weekend's grand final.
"I like the Bulldogs style - they are a bit more ad lib,'' he said.
"But it will be whoever turns up on the day. Manly played their final the week before (they lost to Melbourne).''
While he's enjoying doing his bit to restore Christchurch and will stay as long as there's work, he won't become a permanent Cantabrian.
"A leopard doesn't change its spots!'' he said.