New Clermont recruit Zac Guildford is settling into life in France following his exit from Super Rugby franchise the Crusaders.
The All Black was caught off guard though by the large crowds that turned out to watch Clermont train on their return to pre-season action.
"I was surprised," admitted Guildford to Rugbyrama.
"Normally when we trained in New Zealand it was just the coaches and players, but to have a couple of hundred people there was great."
Guildford revealed he had been warmly welcomed by his new team-mates, part of a batch of signings that includes Nick Abendanon, Camille Lopez, John Ulugia and Viktor Kolelishvili.
Set to start French classes this week in order to help him communicate with the rest of the Clermont squad, Guildford admitted that he was aware of the high expectations on his shoulders - along with the need to get in shape.
"I arrived ten days ago and all of my team-mates were very friendly. There's just the language barrier at the moment but I'm starting French classes on Wednesday," added Guildford.
"To be honest I've got a bit of work to do to lose a few pounds and get a bit sharper.
"I know that people will expect a lot from me and I hope that with some game time I can show what I can do on the ground. The challenge excites me."