Tom May says leading London Welsh to the title proved he was right to join the club last summer.
Former England international May had offers to stay in the Aviva Premiership, but opted to leave Northampton for the Kassam Stadium.
Now having captained the Exiles to the Greene King IPA Championship crown after a 48-28 aggregate victory over Bristol, he reflected on a job well done.
“It is amazing,” he said. “I wanted to come and achieve something with London Welsh.
“A lot of people questioned why I was coming here, but I had no doubt in my mind what I was doing it for.
“It’s an unbelievable group of lads that we have got together.
“The heart that I have seen and the spirit that’s within is something that I have not really seen in any other team I have been involved at.
“It’s a real proud moment, especially to do it against a team like Bristol.”
The 35-year-old centre, who has been one of the Championship’s leading players, was delighted to come through a marathon campaign with silverware.
“After such a long season, it’s an unbelievable relief to have reached our goals,” he said.
“We wanted to reach the top four, we wanted to get to the final and we wanted to win the final.
“We knew it was going to be difficult against a Bristol outfit like that, but the boys stuck together.”
Meanwhile, Welsh head coach Justin Burnell expects to sign “12 to 15 players “ for their Premiership campaign.
“We will be making some of our player announcements on Wednesday of next week,” said chief executive Mike Stevens.
“We have been planning for it for the whole season, so we know who we are going to sign, what we are looking for off the field as well as on it.
“The most important thing I am going to do first of all is put that budget for the Championship in the bin and work on the Premiership budget.”
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