Leicester Tigers hooker George Chuter celebrated his 50th Heineken Cup appearance with a bonus-point victory in Italy on Saturday afternoon.
The England international started the 46-11 win over Viadana as he reached the half-century mark a decade after making his European bow.
And Chuter, who has featured in six Heineken Cup fixtures for former club Saracens and 44 for the Tigers, admits reaching the landmark came as something of a surprise.
"I didn't know I'd played that many times," Chuter told www.leicestertigers.com.
"It's crept up on me really, but I'm very proud of reaching 50 games in the Heineken Cup."
The 33-year-old continues to be impressed with the standard of rugby on show in Europe's premier domestic competition, insisting that the tournament has improved greatly since his debut back in 1998.
"The tournament gets better and better every year and whenever I am asked I always say some of my best rugby memories come from the Heineken Cup," added Chuter.
"At Saracens we had two great games against Munster, then winning at Thomond Park with Tigers, going to Clermont a few years ago and winning there, and winning those games against Stade Francais.
"You ask Graham Rowntree and Martin Johnson about the Tigers' final in Paris in 2001 and it is one of their greatest memories, and these are guys who have done everything in the game."
Chuter impressed yet again in his side's win in Viadana, but despite the comfortable nature of his side's victory, the 22-times capped front rower immediately emphasized the importance of growing the sport in countries such as Italy, Spain and Romania.
For Chuter, one of the things that makes Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup rugby so special is its inclusive nature.
"A huge part of the competition is coming to places like Viadana. It is a European competition - it is not just about the biggest teams in France and Britain. It is important for the competition to come to Italy, and to see teams from countries like Spain and Romania in the Amlin Challenge Cup too.
"It is a fantastic opportunity to play outside your comfort zone and play games in different conditions.
"You still have to go to those places and play your rugby because shocks are waiting to happen if you don't.
"When you come to a place like Viadana, everybody is expecting you to win but, when you come up against a team that is really up for it and gets stuck in, it makes you work very hard for your points.
"You can't have it all your own way. You have to earn your win."
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.