His time in Wales was supposed to be a brief teenage adventure in the late Eighties.
Almost three decades on Dale McIntosh is so ingrained in Welsh rugby as a character that he is universally known by his nickname “The Chief”.
How he earned it, and how he put down roots in the South Wales valleys to win the hearts and minds of all those who love the sport is a truly remarkable story.
Now a coach at Merthyr RFC, he goes back to the old stomping ground where he made his name on Saturday, as the Ironmen take on Pontypridd at Sardis Road in a Principality Premiership clash.
So what better time to hear McIntosh reflect on the blood, the sweat, the tears and the scrapes that he has experienced in Wales since first arriving here as an intrigued 18-year-old?
McIntosh once lived next to Lake Taupo in New Zealand, one of the most naturally beautiful parts of the world.
He swapped it for a view of sewage beds in Ynysbwl, but hasn’t a single regret.
McIntosh became as hard and uncompromising a No.8 as there has ever been in Wales and he was fiercely loyal and honest to the community that took him to its heart.
He played for Scotland A , his father was Scottish and before throwing his lot in with Wales and being capped against South Africa in 1996.