Inspirational Springboks skipper Siya Kolisi has revealed the reasons why he joined Racing 92.
The 32-year-old had previously played his entire professional career in South Africa, firstly at the Stormers and then with the Sharks.
Seen at the derby
His debut has been pencilled in for November 26 when they take on La Rochelle in the Top 14, but the flanker was in attendance for the Paris derby.
Racing claimed a 13-9 victory over Stade Francais on Saturday to move them level on points with their intra-city rivals.
Kolisi becomes the latest star to feature for the Parisians and follows in the footsteps of another rugby icon, Dan Carter to don the jersey.
“I can’t wait to play. The Top 14 is the missing piece for me. I came for the reputation, it is one of the most difficult championships in the world. I have to prove myself on the pitch,” he told RugbyRama.
“I spoke to Cameron [Woki] and Yannick [Nyanga] before signing. Dan Carter also had an influence on me coming.”
Kolisi will add plenty off the field, with the Springbok skipper a highly marketable individual, but he could also prove to be the difference on it.
Racing have regularly been in contention for silverware but they have rarely managed to get across the line, with just a single Top 14 title to show for their efforts both domestically and in Europe over the past decade.
“[Owner] Jacky Lorenzetti told me he wanted to recruit the rugby player, not the superstar. I really appreciated this,” Kolisi said.
“Racing 92 is a club that has not achieved as much as Toulon or Toulouse so we have something to build and I want to be part of this history.
“I’ve played in South Africa all my life and to move to a new club, so different, it’s special. But my teammates and Jack, made things easier for me.
“My family moved before me so everything is going very well.”