Montpellier centre Ollie Smith may not have enjoyed the weather on his return to England but he certainly enjoyed the result as his side began their Amlin Challenge Cup campaign with an impressive win at Worcester.
The former Leicester Tigers favourite was named man-of-the-match as the struggling French outfit ran out 22-17 winners in front of a seven-thousand strong crowd at Sixways.
"I was walking my dog on the beach in bright sunshine yesterday morning," said Smith.
"But we came over here and my room-mate was sleeping a thick duffle coat last night!
"I think we shocked ourselves and some of the coaches and Board members by actually winning this evening. The coach is very happy and the players are happy too."
Smith, who has won five England caps and toured with the British & Irish Lions in 2005, was instrumental as Montpellier sprung a real surprise against last season's semi-finalists.
The visitors changed the vast majority of their side from their last domestic outing but the players who came in, and Smith in particular, will have put their hand up for regular selection by defying the odds against a side who sit sixth in the Guinness Premiership.
And while delighted with the result, Smith himself admits he was somewhat surprised by the manner of his team's performance at a ground that has not been too kind to him in the past.
"Tonight was a very good result and the defensive effort was fantastic. Sixways is a tough place to come and I've lost down here a few times with Leicester. I'm sure Worcester will be disappointed because they were probably favourites to win our group.
"Fair play to our lads, we made 13 changes from the team that played Toulouse at the weekend. We had a pretty inexperienced team and it maybe played into our hands a little bit that we were apprehensive before the game. There were a lot of young lads that came in and they really fronted up."
Winning away from home has been a real problem for Smith and his team-mates who are yet to register a victory on the road this season. And with the club lying one from bottom in the French top flight, Smith is hoping that the win at Worcester will have positive repercussions for the remainder of their domestic and European campaign.
"We've copped a lot of stick for not winning away from home," added the 27-year-old, who moved to France from the East Midlands just over a year ago.
"In the Top 14, everyone nearly always wins at home and loses on the road. The difference for the teams that make the Heineken Cup through the Top 14 is that they win away at times. We haven't won away yet - we've come close a couple of times - and tonight was a good opportunity to set a standard for winning away.
"It's a win that will give us plenty of confidence for going on the road in the Top 14. This was possibly our toughest Amlin Challenge Cup match on paper, although I've never been to Connacht and I'm sure it's a very difficult place to play. We've now got a good opportunity to try and sneak through to the quarter-finals."
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.