Ulster prop Dave Ryan admits he is likely to get "a bit of stick" from his former Munster team-mates after making the switch to Ravenhill.
The 28-year-old Cork man, who had three years in Italy, will return to PRO12 action this season and explained the difficulties surrounding his move.
"I think that it might have been difficult if I had gone straight from Munster to Ulster," he told Ulster.
"But the fact that I have been in Zebre for two years and I have been back at Thomond and back at Musgrave makes it easier.
"It is obviously a bit weird but at the end of the day, it is a profession and you just have to get on with it. I am sure the boys down there will give me a bit of stick but I am looking forward to it."
Ryan will compete for the tighthead jersey with Declan Fitzpatrick, Wiehahn Herbst and Ricky Lutton but he is determined to have a positive season, saying that " competition breeds success".
"You know that there is going to be a lot of competition in my position," he added.
"You have your own personal goals - I have come here to play, to start as many games as possible and to play in the big matches.
"That's what makes squads better - to have guys competing for places because competition breeds success.
"It has been good, the facilities are top class. They are the best that I have experienced. The strength and conditioning coaches have been brilliant and they have an excellent grasp of what they want. It has been a tough start as pre-season should be."