Ulster and Connacht wanted him and he chose to head for Ravenhill."I wanted to play in the centre, they told me that they didn't think I was big enough to play in the midfield so I was stubborn enough to say I'm going to Ulster to prove you wrong," he said of the decision.
"There were some parts in the game where I almost felt like I was in a dream, it was awesome.
"I probably felt sorry for myself a bit as well, but the lads looked after me really well and any chance I get to repay them I do what I can." In Keith Earls, he found a mentor who had endured similar experiences and who was able to offer some sage advice. Everyone's body is different, down here they're very good at understanding what I can and cannot do and what's good to keep me away from," he said.
"They managed me really well, I had a big, long chat with Keith Earls just before I got back playing in September because Earlsy had the same thing in his career, he missed about two entire seasons nearly.
"He was awesome, just talking to me about what I can do to get better - we discussed losing a bit of weight.
I shed a bit of weight, I'm playing at 94kg now whereas at U-20s I would have been around 100kg.
Living in a new city, unable to impress at his new club for a 15-month period, wasn't easy.