Munster lock Donnacha Ryan admits his decision to stay faithful to the Irish province is finally paying dividends after a man-of-the-match display for Ireland against Scotland last weekend.
The 28-year-old had previously never started a Six Nations game for his country but after an impressive outing that sees him retain his place for the trip to Twickenham Ryan is on a real high.
Munster are the current defending RaboDirect PRO12 champions and are in the hunt for a play-off spot this time around as well.
But it wasn’t long ago that, due to a lack of first-team opportunities, Ryan was weighing up a move abroad to Northampton before finally digging his heels in and opting to stay with the Red Army.
“I went to Northampton and met (coach) Dorian West and (director of rugby) Jim Mallinder. They were lovely people and it was a great club," said Ryan, who this week signed a new two-year deal with Munster.
“The first thing they asked me to do was to go on the weighing scales because on Munster's website my weight was 89kg! You're not much of second row if you weigh 89kg!
“It was obviously a frustrating time because all I wanted to do was play. But I changed tack, moved into the back row and I learned a lot there.
“What made up made up mind was the impact going abroad would have on my international opportunities.”