Ulster back-rower Marcell Coetzee wants to repay the province's faith in him when their Champions Cup campaign begins against Leicester Tigers in Kingspan Stadium tomorrow (5.30pm kick-off).
In his third season in Belfast, the Springbok is set to make his first European appearance and has praised Ulster for supporting him throughout his injury ordeals of the past two seasons.
"I have to give credit to Ulster for sticking with me that long," Coetzee said.
"I don't know of a club that would stick with a player in the modern day that has as many issues as I had.
"I have had two or three surgeries since I got here and I really want to thank Ulster and the fans for being supportive through that time.
"The biggest challenge was getting back on the field and just handling that process.
"Rehabbing, as much as it's physical, it's mental. I have a great support system, a great family at home, a great wife who stuck with me through that.
"Whenever I step off the field now and I'm 100%, that's what I think of first before anything else and I'm just grateful for that."
Ulster name their team to take on the Tigers this afternoon and are hoping to be boosted by returns to the squad for the likes of Jordi Murphy, Craig Gilroy and Will Addison while Marty Moore could debut.