Kieran Read was as influential as ever and declared "club rugby is alive" after the New Zealand captain made his comeback for University on Saturday.
The All Blacks skipper played his first game of the year in the second round of the Christchurch metro club competition.
Read has been out of action since undergoing wrist surgery last December, but played a half for University in a 60-11 drubbing of Linwood.
The number eight has been carrying the water for Crusaders in Super Rugby this season, but he was back doing what he does best at Linfield Park.
Read, set to lead the world champions against the British and Irish Lions in just over two months, was not on the big stage this weekend, but revelled in his return.
"It was still pretty tough out there to be honest, we played with the ball a little bit," he said.
"It was nice, it was awesome to get out with the lads.
"The legs, the legs were not used to it I guess, making tackles, getting up, just all that type of running you do, it's hard to replicate that in training.
"It's nice to get a wee hit-out and I look forward to next weekend.
"For me it was just about enjoying the day, I didn't want to come across and say too much to be honest just wanted to sit back and enjoy it and just let the boys do their thing and just play as well as I could.
"It certainly felt like a full-on game. Club rugby is alive and well when you've got a crowd like this turning up. I really enjoyed the atmosphere down here and just put on the boots and get a bit of contact on the body again is always nice."