Luke Burgess was voted man of the match on his Heineken Cup debut
Toulouse have won the Heineken Cup a record four times - and Luke Burgess has already discovered just how special European club rugby's premier tournament is to the French giants.
The Australian scrum half joined Toulouse straight from helping the Wallabies clinch third place at the 2011 World Cup with a 21-18 Bronze Final victory over Wales at Eden Park. And he announced his arrival in Europe in real style by winning the Man-of-the-Match award against Gloucester in his first appearance in the tournament.
Toulouse travel to Scotland to take on Edinburgh Rugby at Murrayfield in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals on Saturday, and Burgess cannot wait to experience the knock-out stages of the competition.
"You can certainly feel the atmosphere change at the club when it is Heineken Cup time," said the 37-times capped Wallaby.
"It tells you just how important the tournament is to Toulouse but I am sure it is pretty much the same at all the clubs in the Heineken Cup - it is just massive.
"It is a very good level of football and very physical, just as I imagined and expected it would be, and it is great playing against teams from different countries. We had two English, Gloucester and Harlequins, and an Irish team Connacht Rugby in our group which made for some interesting matches.
"Now we play Edinburgh in the last eight and, while that will be a new one for me, I understand it will be the 12th time Toulouse and Edinburgh will have met in the Heineken Cup so it certainly will not be new to the majority of either team.
"The Edinburgh squad is packed with international players and we know it is going to be a really tough and physical match."
Toulouse already have happy memories of Murrayfield as they beat Stade Français Paris 18-12 in extra time at the home of Scottish rugby in the 2005 Heineken Cup final but Burgess was on the losing side when Australia were beaten 9-8 at the venue in the Test in 2009.
"Murrayfield is a great historical ground, known all over the world, so it will be great playing the quarter-final there," said Burgess.
"I did lose there with the Wallabies but I have also loved playing sevens there so I am sure the first quarter-final to be played on Scottish soil will be a great occasion."
Burgess, who had just a one-week break from rugby between the end of the World Cup and linking up with Toulouse - a break in which he married fiancée Emilie in Tasmania - already feels very much at home in the south of France.
"We are loving it here, Toulouse is a wonderful city and I am thoroughly enjoying the new challenges of the language and culture, it is exactly what I wanted," he said.
"The rugby has been tremendous and, aside of the language being a bit of a problem on occasions, it has not been difficult fitting into a new team as Toulouse play a great style of rugby.
"Naturally we were very disappointed to lose to Gloucester in our final Pool game and have to travel in the quarters but playing away from home will not be a problem, we will just have to get on with the job.
"And we can have no complaints about that defeat at Gloucester as they played all the football that night and hats off to them. In fact in terms of being a complete team they have been the best team I have played against in all tournaments since I joined Toulouse."