Bath may have been vindicated for their decision to sign sometimes All Black Stephen Donald, following his fairytale finish at the World Cup, but they will have to wait another fortnight before reaping the benefits.
Having had to battle through an enormous amount of red tape - following English immigration authorities' reluctance to supply him with a working permit because he had not played for the All Blacks often enough - he is now suddenly the flavour of the month in the United Kingdom.
His World Cup appearance ended an 11-month absence from the Test side, but his match-winning penalty in the 8-7 win over France in the Final has catapulted him to the top of the popularity polls.
However, Bath fans will have to wait until the Heineken Cup tournament next month before they see Donald in action at The Rec.
The Bath management hope to have the 27-year-old Donald training at the club within a fortnight.
That means the former Chiefs flyhalf will miss the next two rounds of the Premiership but is likely to be in harness for Europe's top club competition.
Bath travel to Glasgow on November 13 for their opening Heineken Cup fixture, with Montpellier visiting The Rec a week later.
With Sam Vesty having been in solid form in the opening rounds of the Premiership, and with academy member Tom Heathcote growing in confidence with each game, Bath already have options at flyhalf.
But first-team coach Brad Davis is excited by the experience and skill that Donald will bring to Bath.
"Stephen's performance in the World Cup Final displayed all the attributes which originally attracted us to him," Davis told the This is Bath website.
"I'd take my comment from what the All Blacks' coach Graham Henry said after the game, ‘Didn't he do well, Stephen Donald'.
"He stepped up to the mark for the penalty he kicked – he wanted to take responsibility. He carried strongly when he had no other options and he kicked for the corners well. Stephen gave a really assured performance – and that's off the back of four weeks' fishing!"
Donald only came into the New Zealand squad in the final week, following injuries to Dan Carter and Colin Slade. A first-half injury to Aaron Cruden in the Final brought him into the fray.
"We were really pleased for Stephen personally and are looking forward to having him on board to pass on his knowledge of what he has experienced in the southern hemisphere," added Davis.
"I think he will be a massive signing for us, both on the field and off it. We're replacing one World Cup-winning fly-half with another."
Bath secured Donald's signature on a three-year contract following a long search for a replacement for Springbok Butch James.
During his period as Carter's understudy with the All Blacks, Donald has at times come under fire.
But speaking to the media after last Sunday's final, he said: "I guess there are people out there who have undermined my status as an All Black.
"I was pretty proud to go out there and leave my mark as an All Black and prove that I could play at this level.
"You always dream about things like playing in World Cups but as number four in line you start to give that up a bit. When I got the call I felt like the dream just got that much closer to reality again.
"The coaches said to me to be ready because it could come down to me having to kick the winning goal, and that is exactly how it panned out."
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