Kurtley Beale spoke of his gratitude for Wasps helping him through the "dark days" of injury after starring on his long-awaited debut.
Man-of-the-match Beale opened the scoring and made major contributions in attack and defence in Sunday's 32-17 win over Connacht in the European Champions Cup, having spent the first seven months of his Wasps career overcoming a torn patellar tendon.
The Australia international was also sin-binned in the first half at the Ricoh Arena for a high hit on Connacht wing Niyi Adeolokun, but was ecstatic to finally get on the pitch in the black and gold.
"It has been a long time coming," said Beale.
"It was a very special moment to get out there playing for my new club and contributing the way I did. I had a little bit of a taste of everything, really!
"Of course there are doubts, and nerves kicking in. It was important that I didn't get carried away with the whole occasion. Overall, it is exciting to be back doing what I love.
"I have been very lucky. Wasps have been fantastic supporting me through the tough times.
"They have made my welcome here very settling so I have been able to concentrate on my rugby and try to get back to the form I was in before the injury.
"There have been some really dark days, and I am just relieved that I have come out today and done my job for the team."