Tim Bond has travelled 8977 kilometres to realise his burning ambition to play Super Rugby.
The Bay of Plenty Steamers lock moved from Te Puke to Tokyo to join the fledgling Japan-based franchise the Sunwolves that will play in one of the two South African conferences in this year's revamped 18-team competition.
I see this as an opportunity to potentially play in the toughest rugby competition in the world and be a part of a new team in a country building towards the World Cup.
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It will undoubtedly be the biggest challenge of the 26-year-old's rugby career so far but one he is looking forward to.
For Bond it is a happy homecoming of sorts. He studied at Teikyo University after leaving Christchurch Boys' High School and had a season with Suntory Sungoliath before joining Bay of Plenty in 2013.
Last year he suffered a heavy head knock playing against Waikato for the Steamers at Tauranga Domain which curtailed his season.
But he is confident he will be 100 per cent fit and that the Sunwolves will be competitive when they begin their campaign against the Lions at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo on February 27.
"I had the offer for the Sunwolves prior to the concussion. I feel slightly under-done but am confident about the health of my head," Bond said.
"I don't see this as an opportunity to prove anyone wrong. I see this as an opportunity to potentially play in the toughest rugby competition in the world and be a part of a new team in a country building towards the World Cup.
"For me this year I want to play as much as possible and add to the team on and off the field. I enjoy the culture and the food here and am slowly picking up the language again."
The Sunwolves have a strong Kiwi connection in recently appointed head coach Mark Hammet and assistants Nathan Mauger and Filo Tiatia, who have started behind the other franchises in time spent preparing their team.
But Bond is not overly concerned about the lack of pre-season work the Sunwolves have had.
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"Mark Hammet and the other coaching staff seem really excited about the challenge ahead of us. On the team coming together, yes, the prep time is less than other teams but a lot of the boys have been playing up until two weeks ago.
"Also a lot of the team played in the national side together so know each other really well and everyone is working hard together to be ready for the start of season. I think the Japanese players proved during the World Cup they have the ability to front up physically and commitment to the cause is not an issue."
Bond would love the Bay of Plenty fans to take on the Sunwolves as their second team to support behind the Chiefs.
"I really enjoyed my time in the Bay and now call it home. And if they [supporters] could tune in and get behind the Sunwolves of 2016 that would be much appreciated, and considering we don't play the Chiefs there shouldn't be any conflicts of interest."