Nemani Nadolo will be forever grateful to the Crusaders as he prepares for his final season in Super Rugby with the franchise.
The Fiji star informed the seven-time champions after returning from a stint with the Barbarians in the UK last week that he would be moving on at the end of the 2016 Super Rugby season.
Nadolo has been heavily linked with a move to Montpellier in the Top 14, where he has previously played for Bourgoin.
It's in Super Rugby however where Nadolo's career has taken off, with 12 tries in 2014 followed by nine last season.
"I was playing in Japan and I thought that was it for me. The faith these guys showed in me is something I'll always be thankful for," Nadolo told Stuff.
"They kick-started my career, they've given me the passion and love for the game again. They've pretty much moulded me into the player I am today."
Crusaders chief executive Hamish Riach paid tribute to Nadolo, adding that the franchise was thrilled to have helped the 27-year-old become the star he is today.
"There was an opportunity here and Nemani seized it. He's got the rewards for that and it's just really nice for us to be part of it," Riach said.
"It was clear [France] is where the next phase of his career is going to be. We wish him all the very best with it. We're delighted he chose to spend three years of his rugby life in Christchurch.
"He will be a difficult man to replace but that's our job. He's a unique man with the size, the agility, the speed and power…"