Cumnock product John Porch will be calling Ireland home for the next two years after signing with the Galway-based Connacht, a move that looks to have required a mountain of sacrifice from the Northern Suburbs Intrust Super Shute Shield flyer.
Seemingly bringing down the curtain on his sevens career and ending his chances of playing at a second Olympic Games, the move will see the winger linking up with former Australian seven's mentor Andy Friend, who is the head coach at Connacht.
It was Friend who recruited Porch to the sevens program ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Porch said in an Instagram post he was "super excited" to announce his signing and "can't wait to get over to Galway and get stuck into the challenges ahead".
"I obviously know Andy from his time with the Australia Sevens program and he gave me my debut in 2016," he said, following his contract signing.
"The possibility of playing Champions Cup rugby in the Sportsground next season is an opportunity I just couldn't turn down."
Friend believes Porch will be a valuable addition to the Pro14 club.
"John Porch is a player that was identified as a prospect for the Australian Sevens squad in early 2016," he said.
"I was extremely impressed by his performances in his first tournament and subsequently offered him a contract. He was a hugely impressive player at sevens level, and I believe that he will suit the style of play and culture in Connacht as we prepare for the season ahead."
Since making his debut in the Wellington leg of the Sevens World Series in 2016, Porch has become a regular in the Aussie sevens team.
Last year he was a finalist for the Australian men's sevens players' player of the year after a season in which he was named in the tournament dream team in both Vancouver and Singapore, and scored 25 tries and a career-best 230 points.
But he hasn't appeared in the gold since the Vancouver tournament in March, instead turning out, and starring, for Norths.
His performances didn't go unnoticed by Friend, who had been watching, albeit from afar, Porch's transition back into the XV-a-side game.
"We talk a lot, even when I'm at sevens," Porch said in an interview on Norths' Facebook page.
"[I] was sending him my games and he was asking for them, and he was watching over them, and he was very happy with the sort of stuff I was doing in there."
"So thankfully enough I picked up a contract there."
Much to his surprise, Porch remarking that he "couldn't believe it".
He will head over at the end of June, and infused with a love of the game again thanks to his stint with the club he joined as a colt.
"It's been incredible getting back to Norths for a few games," he said.
"It's good to be back around, taking rugby a little bit less seriously and just enjoying it again and getting that love for the game back. Because I did lose it a little bit while I was in the last little bit of my sevens career."
Ironically it was an impressive season with Norths that then led to him earning a spot in the North Harbour Rays side for the National Rugby Championship, that ultimately led to him getting his sevens opportunity.
WANT MORE ORANGE AND REGIONAL SPORT?
- Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below ...