The Western Force left for New Zealand on Friday morning boosted by the news Australia full-back Cameron Shepherd is on the verge of signing a new contract.
The Force have played Super 14 rugby for two seasons following their inception and in both years have seen a promising start wither away after struggling in New Zealand.
But this time, Shepherd believes the omens are good and that his imminent signature can only help morale ahead of matches against the Blues and the Highlanders over the next fortnight.
"It will happen in the next two weeks. I just have to organise a few minor details and as soon as that is settled, I will be signing," Shepherd said.
"At the moment, they (the Force) are the frontrunner in Australia.
"I'm very happy in Western Australia. I love Perth, it's a great place to live and the set-up we have here is seeing us slowly develop a positive way to play, so I'm happy to stick around for a few more years."
Shepherd admitted the loss to the unbeaten Crusaders in the last round was one of the most disappointing days of his career, but he felt the team was well equipped to bounce back against the Blues, particularly after taking two victories from their first three matches in South Africa.
"We have started playing good football now and the worst thing we could do is go over and play poorly, so these games are huge for us," said Shepherd.
"We haven't had much success over in New Zealand, that's no secret and last season was very disappointing over there.
"We aren't trying to harp on the negatives, we are looking at the positives and we know we are good enough to win both games away. It's just a matter of preparing properly and putting it on the field.
"We are looking forward to playing this weekend. The Blues have had a tough week coming back home from South Africa and we know we can win the game."
Shepherd is still struggling with a sore knee that kept him out of the game against the Cheetahs in South Africa. But, while he feels it is affecting his performance somewhat, he is not about to make excuses.
"I've been a little disappointed as I've been inconsistent so far. My injury at the start was frustrating and I now have a goal to make this trip a really good one," he added.