Scarred Klemmer no longer NRL wild child
David Klemmer can't help but chuckle when he sees the 2015 footage of his expletive-laden barrage directed at referee Gerard Sutton.
But he knows it's no laughing matter.
"It was a silly thing to do and I just laugh at myself, what a dickhead I was then," Klemmer said.
"You can't do it. You just giggle at yourself. It's embarrassing."
Four years on, a more mature Klemmer will spearhead a young Kangaroos forward pack in Saturday's Test against a Tonga invitational team in Auckland.
He admits his career trajectory changed after the infamous Good Friday clash, which left him with a three-game suspension for contrary conduct.
"That scarred me a bit. Sitting there for 3-4 weeks on the sidelines and not playing any footy, getting hammered. That hurt a bit," Klemmer said.
"The footage still comes up and there I am. My son's just seen it and I don't want them doing that when they're playing their footy."
The Newcastle star said he also saw the wider ramifications of his actions.
"What I did to the game as well, and the referees... junior footy players would've seen that and it would've been disappointing to see as well," he said.
"Looking back, it wasn't great.
"That was the turning point for me. I don't want me doing that and kids doing that as well. And my own kids seeing me doing it, it wasn't right."
It's why the 25-year-old believes he's well-equipped to handle what could be a fiery contest against a star-studded Tongan pack led by Andrew Fifita.
The former Kangaroo prop will be supported by Jason Taumalolo, Tevita Pangai Junior, Sio Siua Taukeiaho, Joe Ofahengaue and Addin Fonua-Blake.
Klemmer and Fonua-Blake exchanged heated words during a spicy clash between the Knights and Manly earlier this year.
"Yeah, he's a lively character," Klemmer said.
"He loves all the talk but he backs up his footy as well. He's going to be excited for the game and excited to put that jersey on.
"We've got to concentrate on playing footy because if you get involved in that talk, you can worry about one thing and points can come as well so you can do something silly. You can't worry about that sort of stuff."
The Kangaroos enjoyed a day off on Thursday but will complete their preparations with a captain's run on Friday before the contest at Eden Park.
© AAP 2019