Matt Dawson has confirmed he will join Wasps on his return from England's summer tour as he looks for a new challenge to reinvigorate his career.
After the euphoric high of winning the World Cup last November and then regaling tens of thousands of supporters in Trafalgar Square with tales of the squad's achievements, Dawson was brought back down to earth with a bump at Northampton.
An untimely combination of injuries and the form of Mark Robinson - originally brought in as cover while Dawson was at the World Cup - relegated him to a bit-part role at Franklin's Gardens.
And for a man who harbours ambitions of a third British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand next year, Dawson felt it was time for a change and a new challenge with the European and English Premiership champions.
"If you are going to move to a club in England, you want to go to Wasps. To get that opportunity is very exciting," he said.
"Winning the World Cup was the pinnacle of my rugby career, but I have certainly been brought back down to earth during the season and so far on this trip.
"It has been quite a hard year, I had a few niggles and was just not getting a run of games at the club which was disappointment.
"I am disappointed to leave Northampton but I was a bit apprehensive as to what the next two years would hold for me.
"Hopefully, it will be a good couple of years for Matt Dawson, whatever I do with Wasps or with England. Potentially I want to put myself forward for the Lions tour next year."
When Dawson started England's first Test against New Zealand 10 days ago, it was his first game since April 18 when he played at inside-centre for Northampton against Bath and limped off injured.
It is little wonder, then, that the World Cup winner is after a fresh start and he is likely to slot straight into the starting line-up at the Causeway Stadium with Rob Howley to undergo surgery on a wrist injury that could keep him out until the autumn.
Howley was an integral part of Wasps remarkable season, capped by a last-gasp try at Twickenham that clinched victory over Toulouse and the European Cup, and Dawson expects no easy ride when both are fit.
In fact, he insists the competition posed by Howley, the former Wales and Lions international, is just why he opted to join Wasps.
"I have spent the whole of my life with competition. You can't give me any stage of my life where I haven't been vying for the number nine spot," said Dawson.
"Apart from one year at Northampton where the other scrum-half has been playing all the rugby, I have had a comfort ride at club level so it is time to test myself."