A big name signing is always met with a certain mixture of excitement and trepidation. Will the vast sums of money invested produce the expected results like a Bundee Aki, Rocky Elsom, or Doug Howlett managed - or will the new signing struggle to adapt like a Christian Cullen, Steven Sykes, or James So'oailo.
At least for Ulster, part of their fears about their next All Black Charles Piutau have been allayed. The flier will be coming to Belfast next season entering his prime, and judging by his form has adapted to Europe in spectacular style. The northerners clearly have a gem on their hands - and his performances for Wasps this season have earned him a nomination for European player of the year.
The award, which was first won by three Irish players - Ronan O'Gara, Sean O'Brien, and Rob Kearney - has been dominated by French based players in recent seasons. This year the longlist has 11 players from the Premiership, as opposed to four from the Top 14. Joining Piutau on the list is current World player of the year Dan Carter, England's next sensation Maro Itoje - and two England bench players Jack Clifford and Elliott Daly.
Steffon Armitage will be looking to regain the award after winning in 2014, while the likes of George Smith and Billy Vunipola will also be strong candidates.
Here's the full list:
Nominees for European Player of the Year. pic.twitter.com/o3PsyIZYMf
— Ben Coles (@bencoles_) April 20, 2016