Nick Evans has revealed he agonised over giving up the All Blacks jersey and was pressured to stay in New Zealand before joining Harlequins this summer.
Quins fans got their first sighting of their new big money signing when Evans bagged a try and a conversion in Saturday's friendly win over London Irish.
But he admits the move was not an easy one to make, despite feeling he had become stale playing in New Zealand, where he has gained 16 All Blacks caps.
Evans said: "There was a bit of pressure on me not to leave New Zealand. They don't like to see play-ers in the All Black frame heading overseas.
"But in the end you have to block that out and do what's best for you, and what was best for me was to come over here.
"The hardest part was knowing that I might never put the All Black jersey on again. But I sat down with my family and talked about it.
"I am proud of what I achieved in an All Black jersey, and I would have liked some more game time, but I felt it was time to move on.
"But in three years time you can never say never for a chance to wear it again, and if they change the rules and allow overseas players it would be great.
"However, if I'm still loving it here and they still want me here, to be honest, I'll probably stay."
Quins' offer was not the only one the 27-year-old fly-half received from English clubs.
And he concedes it was the club's rich history - plus a quiet word with fellow Kiwi and former Quin Andrew Mehrtens - which swung it for Quins.
Evans said: "There were a few options out there, but what it came down to was going to a place rich in history.
"I had a chat to Mehrts, and he thought very highly of the club, and talking to Dean Richards and what he wants to aspire to meant a lot too."
After seven seasons of Super 14 and four years as an All Black, Evans felt the time was right time to test himself in a different environment.
Coming to the Twickenham Stoop has not only provided a new challenge on the pitch, but off it too, Evans admits.
He added: "It was getting a pretty repetitive, and I thought it was the right time in my life to have a new challenge.
"At this stage of my life in my career I've still got a lot to offer, and I wanted to play in the strongest league in the northern hemisphere, and I think that it is the Guinness Premiership by far.
"It's quite good being the only Kiwi too as I have to branch out of my comfort zone a bit, meet the guys, have a beer with them, get to know them and train hard with them."
Ugo Monye, Waisea Luveniyali and Neil McMillan also claimed tries for Quins against Irish. They play Italian side Parma at the Twickenham Stoop on Saturday (3pm).
Harlequin's Rugby League's Super League play-off hopes ended with a 26-6 defeat at Hull on Saturday.
Quins had to win their last two games to have any chance of making the top six, but only Chris Mellings' try, converted by Rob Purdham, gave them any joy.
Quins end their season at home to Catalans Dragons on Sunday week.