Mike Phillips is settling into his new life in Paris and insists the familiarity of seeing the likes of fellow British & Irish Lions Dan Lydiate and Jamie Roberts each day has helped with the transition.
Phillips, who started the first and final Tests against Australia this summer in the 2-1 series win, joined Racing Metro after he was dismissed from Bayonne in October and made his first appearance against Harlequins last week.
Phillips will line up alongside another Lion in Jonny Sexton when they take on the English side on Sunday but insists having the likes of Roberts and Lydiate around has helped him hit the ground running.
“It’s all about making the right decisions on and off the pitch and I think I am pretty good at that. Hopefully I can settle in quickly and first things first play well on the pitch,” he said.
“It has been great [to have Dan Lydiate and Jamie Roberts there]. It’s nice to see familiar faces every day, have a laugh and get the banter going.”
With many Welsh stars choosing to move abroad Phillips hopes to see more stay in his home country but admits his move has been a step in the right direction.
“It is quite sad so many players are leaving Wales, especially so young in their careers. I played ten years in Wales and it was a chance for me to experience different options and another way of life,” he added.
“It is a little sad that the young kids are going down their local region and watching their regions but as players it is our careers and we need to do what we do really.
“It has done me really good. I was in Bayonne, I went on a Lions series, and won a Grand Slam.”