He may be only two weeks into his Leinster career, but Joe Tomane says he is thoroughly enjoying his new working environment as he settles into Irish rugby.
The 17-cap Wallaby international is in the midst of pre-season training as he gets used to new team-mates and a new city.
Montpellier has been swapped for Dublin, and not only are his wife and daughter loving life in the Irish capital, the versatile back has been hugely impressed by the high standards within the province.
"It’s been unreal. The training has been intense," he told RTÉ Sport.
"You come here and then you see why they are winning. How the boys go about their training, how they take care of themselves.
"That made me think, ‘damn, I made the right call’."
With Isa Nacewa hanging up his boots last season after a decorated time at Leinster, there were no shortage of names linked with a move to the Pro14 and Champions Cup winners.
The Australian was not initially on their radar however, unaware of his contract situation at Montpellier.
Top 14 clubs are required to field a certain amount of French players, but the penalty was previously a financial one, which the wealthy top-flight clubs were happy to pay.
With that being changed to a points deduction, clubs have been forced to reduce their foreign player numbers in some cases and Tomane knew he was going to be released at Montpellier.
"I called my agent straight away to see if Leinster were interested. They didn’t know I was available."
Was he in effect knocking on Leinster’s door?
"Pretty much. I knew where I wanted to be. I wanted to play somewhere that had a winning culture and Leinster is it."
The presence of Scott Fardy (above) was significant in the move. The pair played for five years at the Brumbies in Super Rugby, and their wives are also good friends. It offered insight into what he could expect.
"I called Fards straight away and explained my situation in France. I said, ‘if you can have words with Leo and Stuart about seeing if there is a spot open for me that would be great’."
After hoovering up silverware last season, the challenge for Leo Cullen, Stuart Lancaster and the management team is to maintain standards and drive the current crop onto new heights.
"I was able to harden up a little defensively. I guess that part of my game improved, but I’m looking to improve even more"
Growth has been the key word in pre-training so far as the men in blue look to continue their dominance.
For Tomane, earning his stripes with a starting spot will be the primary focus. With 55 players used over the course of last season, just making the match-day 23 will be an accomplishment.
After two seasons in a forward-dominated Top14 environment, Tomane is looking to get back to a more attacking game he left behind in Super Rugby.
"They [Montpellier] train for a different style of rugby," he says. "I was able to harden up a little defensively. I guess that part of my game improved, but I’m looking to improve even more.
"Over here, the Pro14 is a lot faster, a lot quicker games and a lot of teams play with width. You have got to train to be able to play that style and also defend it.
"Coming back to be being able to play the style of rugby I was accustomed to has been good."
"There is a time to play with width, and when the time is to roll up their sleeves, Leinster are well able to do so"
The 28-year-old saw first-hand last season the power and strength of Cullen’s side, losing both European games to the eventual champions.
When the possibility of a move took more shape, he paid closer attention to match footage.
"I wanted to get a grip of how they play rugby and the thing I noticed was how adaptable they are. There is a time to play with width, and when the time is to roll up their sleeves, they are well able to do so."
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