The arrival of the former South African captain Andre Vos has given players, coaches and supporters a bit of a boost ahead of NEC Harlequins live televised game against Bath this Saturday, kick-off 2.00 pm at the Stoop.
Not even a typical wet autumn afternoon at the Quins training ground at Aldershot on Wednesday was enough to dampen the spirits of the ex-Golden Lions skipper.
"It wasn't far from what I expected but it isn't too bad a nice bit of rain, a few clouds out there, and it was actually a very pleasant afternoon on the training paddock," commented Vos, who had only been in the country for a few hours following his arrival early in the morning from Johannesburg.
"I wanted to meet all the guys today and to run around the track with them. I've been at home getting the house all packed up so I haven't done much for the last few days, and it was nice to build-up a bit of a sweat and stretch the legs a little bit."
Vos is keen to play this weekend, not only to show the fans the quality that Quins boss Mark Evans has signed, but also to eradicate the pain from last weeks Currie Cup Final defeat against the Blue Bulls.
"It was not that memorable a game to leave on," said Vos in reflective mood.
"It was very disappointing. We had high hopes and high expectations going into the final. The game itself was very disappointing - we didn't perform to our potential at all, but the season as a whole was a success except for that last game."
"The last five or six games in particular, we really did play some outstanding rugby and it was nice to see Ellis Park as full as it was for the final."
The 27 year-old Springbok was sporting another 'badge of war' on his forehead, courtesy of a loose stud, but that is all part of the game for Vos.
"It's par for the course," commented Vos, laughing as he speaks. "I'm sure that over the next few years that you'll get to know me as the guy who tends to pick-up a few stitches along the way - that's just me. I'm quite a soft guy actually," he says jokingly.
So why Quins then Andre?
"I got on with Mark (Evans) in the first meeting that we had, and he's a guy who I think has a very good vision for rugby and understands the game very well, and I could tell that just from that little chat that I had with him."
"We did click and we did get on really well and I think it is important that you are happy and the guy that you are playing for has the same thinking in rugby and the same thoughts that you have."
"Ever since I was a young guy in South Africa I've always heard of Harlequins and always wanted to be associated with a club like this."
Quins current league status was not a worry for the South African star, and he has high hopes for the squad that has been assembled this season.
"I think there is a squad here that can perform really well in this competition, and I believe that over the next few years that we can. There are some very exciting players here and it will be great if we can improve from where we are now over the next few years, and I think we can do that," he said with confidence.
"I wouldn't want to say that I can make a difference or change things round completely, but in my way I can help out. I'll learn a lot from the experienced guys here in new ways of thinking, and on the other side of the coin, I'm sure that there will be a lot that I can add to Harlequins as well and that is what I am hoping to do."
Part of the South African World Cup squad in 1999, Vos could have settled for the comfort zone of home and the near certainty of another campaign with the Boks, but time waits for no man and Vos is keen to maximise his lifestyle.
"It was a tough decision with the World Cup next year, but you come to a stage in your life when your priorities do change and I've always been a family orientated guy and spending time at home with the family has now become a priority to me, and that is the main reason for my decision."
"When we are playing international rugby in South Africa, we are away for up to half a year and I've just got married (to Caroline) and that's not what I was looking for."
"But I also needed a new challenge where I can learn some new stuff from guys who approach the game a little bit differently and from experienced internationals who are in the side."
Vos has already experienced life out of the comfort zone with an earlier sojourn to Australia and a stint with a Queensland Reds side that contained current Quins full back Nathan Williams and former skipper David Wilson.
"I was with the Reds in 1998, and with the Super 12 and with the Tri-Nations, a lot of my previous focus has been with the southern hemisphere. But in South Africa we get hold of all sorts of video footage of matches that are shown over there, and people in the southern hemisphere do appreciate the way that the game in the UK has risen to new levels and I think that there is a huge respect for it."
So here he is - another club, another challenge, and the chance to wear that famous quartered shirt for the first time.
"I think that it is a great shirt," said Vos. "Ever since I was a young guy in South Africa you obviously have teams all over the world that you look towards. In New Zealand it is sides like Auckland and in Australia it is sides like the Reds, and over here it is Harlequins."
"Everyone knows the Harlequins shirt and I am looking forward to the weekend when I can get a chance to put it on for the first time."
"There is lots of history in Harlequins rugby, and it is a really stunning outfit and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on it at the weekend."
And so to Saturday and his debut with NEC Harlequins and his first taste of the Premiership against a Bath side coached by Australian's and with a fellow South African as their chief playmaker.
"It is important to perform in my first game, and I would want to get involved as soon as I can and get stuck in and show my worth to Harlequins."
And as for the captaincy?
"It is something that I've done my whole life ever since I was eight or nine years-old, but it is more important for me to try and get a few games under my belt first and that is the most important thing at this stage."
During week commencing 22nd April Harlequins will launch an innovative, new Membership Scheme which will replace the existing Season Ticket Holder Programme. Further details of the scheme will be announced in due course.