Byron Kelleher left the comfort zone of his native New Zealand in search of new challenges - and in the process set himself the top target of getting his hands on the Heineken Cup.
The 34-year-old 57-times capped former All Blacks scrum half, now the firmest of firm favourites of the Toulouse faithful for his total commitment and muscular skills, has played his part in guiding the triple Heineken Cup winners to within touching distance of a sixth tournament final but is wary of the threat defending champions Leinster pose at Le Stadium on Saturday.
"My goal is to win the Heineken Cup - and it is not just an individual dream, it's a dream of the team," he said. "I don't play competitions just to be a competitor, I play to win.
"The Heineken Cup is growing as a competition and continually puts pressure on you because you have to win away from home and the tournament has got stronger every year since I have been here.
"There used to be a mentality of focusing everything on winning at home and not worrying so much about winning away - that would be a bonus - but that has changed and French sides have adapted to professional rugby.
"It's great to be at home in the semi-finals and Leinster are a difficult team to play against but these games are 50-50 and whether you are home or not it doesn't matter.
"Leinster are a very good team, they showed that in the quarter-finals, and Brian O'Driscoll is a world-class player and his performance against Clermont was exceptional.
"We have Yannick Jauzion and if you look across Europe you won't see two better centres. There are big match-ups all over the field but that's what semi-final rugby is all about and why we play."
Toulouse are 4-3 ahead in tournament meetings so far and Leinster coach Michael Cheika would love to put one over a French club he will meet on a regular basis when he takes up his new post at Stade Français Paris next season.
"Semi-finals are when your playmakers come into their roles and they have to make sure they take opportunities that come along, because you might only get one or two chances in a game," added Kelleher.
"If you make wrong decisions you will miss those opportunities and it's about having a collection of people making the right decisions on the field - it's about leadership."
While Toulouse and Leinster kick-off the Heineken Cup semi-finals weekend, Biarritz Olympique and Munster close matters when they clash at Estadio Anoeta in San Sebastian the following day.
And Toulouse and Biarritz Olympique both have the added lure of the landmark 15th final being played at their national ground of Stade de France on Saturday, 22 May, with the mix of the strictly French-Irish semi-final affairs a mirror image of the 2003 tournament ... when two French teams ended up playing at Lansdowne Road in the Irish capital.
The directors of ERC voted unanimously at a Board meeting to postpone all decisions including the release of further instalments of ERC's distributable central revenues to the six shareholder countries until 19 February next when the Board will meet again to reconsider the issue.