David Denton has spoken for the first time about the hectic couple of days that surrounded his move away from Edinburgh Rugby to Bath in November.
The 25-year-old back-row made 78 appearances for Edinburgh and became a major influence in the dressing-room.
However, some strong performances for Scotland in the World Cup in England in September and October – especially against Australia in the quarter-final – put the Zimbabwean-born player in the shop window.
And although Denton, who turns 26 the day before Scotland play England next month, started to think about a possible move away from the club at the end of this season, he did not expect anything to happen so quickly.
“When I came back from the World Cup I thought about perhaps making a move at the end of this campaign, but Edinburgh Rugby has been a big part of my life and my progression, so whatever happened it was going to be difficult for me to leave the squad and my friends behind,” Denton said.
“Then the Bath interest came a bit out of the blue – I thought they were pretty well-stocked in the back-row department – in early November.
“I had to make a decision pretty quickly, but when I looked at their squad and the quality that is in it and spoke to the people from the club I thought it was a place that I could fit in at pretty quickly.
“It all happened very fast and was a bit of a blur and saying goodbye to my friends and the people that have put a lot of time and effort into my career at Edinburgh was hard.
“However, everyone has to move on in their career sometime and I look back on what I gave to Edinburgh and what I achieved there with a lot of pride.
“Last season I could feel that things were improving at the club and we were going in the right direction. This term the guys at Edinburgh have carried that on and to beat Glasgow Warriors twice was a really big thing.
“With Bath I was playing in Newcastle on January 2 so after that match I managed to head up the road and catch up with some of the Edinburgh guys after the 1872 Scottish Cup second leg.
“They are all very positive and I believe they can go on and have a good second half of the season.”
As for himself, Denton is settling into life down south well.
He admits it took some time to get used to new surroundings, new team-mates and a different style of rugby, but now he feels at home and wants to kick on ahead of the Six Nations.
“As the move happened so fast it did take me a few weeks to get used to everything. The style of rugby down here in England is different and, as a No.8, you don’t get so much time with your hands on the ball to make yards in attack,” he explained.
“I have started to think a few phases ahead of the play to make sure I am in better positions to get on the ball and the other players around me have been really great in helping me get used to the systems and tactics.
“Off the field Bath is a lovely place, similar in quite a lot of ways to Edinburgh, so exploring the area has been great and I feel more comfortable on the pitch now.”
Since he made his debut – and was yellow carded – against Leicester Tigers in the league on his debut in late November, Denton has been a regular in Bath’s matchday 23.
They have not had the best run of form of late, but they have a big European Rugby Champions Cup match away to Leinster this Saturday.
Denton also has one eye on Scotland’s Calcutta Cup match with England on February 6 and he said: “I made my first start for Scotland in a match against England four years ago and they are always special occasions.
“There has been a lot of banter with Bath’s English contingent and it should be a cracker.”