Italy back-row Robert Barbieri said a glowing recommendation from Martin Castrogiovanni helped him to realise that Leicester was the club for him.
The powerful 30-year-old, who joined Welford Road from Treviso in the off-season, replaces Thomas Waldrom at the Premiership outfit.
And the number eight admitted his "eyes lit up" when he found out the move was happening.
"I know about the club, I know they're professional, I know they're always at the top competing and that's what I like because in Treviso, we were always fighting to stay above mid-table," the Canadian-born player told the Leicester Mercury.
"I like the competition. I know there are a lot of good guys here who I have to compete against and that's what it's all about.
"We have played against Leicester many times. I know they're a strong team. I know Castro and most of the guys who I have played against in the England team in Test matches.
"When the move came about, Castro told me how the club was run and just how professional it was - and it just made my eyes light up.
"I'm really excited. This is a big step for me. This is what my goal has always been, to come to a Premiership team, a top club.
"This is what every kid hopes to do and maybe win something here too."