18 May, 15:44
It's down to the wire now for the five contenders who have been shortlisted for the ultimate individual accolade in northern hemisphere rugby, ERC European Player of the Year 2013.
That means the full back will go head-to-head with his former team-mates from Newport Gwent Dragons in Round 1 at Stade Aime Giral on Friday, 9 November. Perpignan have also recruited another Super 14 player from South Africa in 12-times capped lock Gerrie Britz (Stormers); Scotland scrum half Chris Cusiter and former Samoan and Leicester Tigers back row forward Henry Tuilagi.
The French club also have a new coaching team headed up by Jacques Brunel - France's national forwards coach - and club stalwart Bernard Gouta. For their part the Dragons will have an insight into the Perpignan camp having brought Wales flanker Richard Parks back home from the South of France to form an all international back row with Colin Charvis and Michael Owen. Another significant signing at Rodney Parade is Wales scrum half Andy Williams from Bath Rugby.
Meanwhile, Italian champions Benetton Treviso have a new coach following the departure of Craig Green. Franco Smith, the former Springbok No 10 who played for Newport in the European Challenge Cup in 1999 before joining the Italian club, is now at the helm. Benetton travel to London Irish in Round 1 where they will find the Exiles boosted by the signing of Irish outside half Jeremy Staunton along with former Waratahs points machine Peter Hewat - who scored 636 points in fifty outings for the Aussie Super 14 team.