Paris - Australian scrumhalf Luke Burgess got his European Cup experience off to a winning start when he helped Toulouse to a thrilling 21-17 victory over Gloucester on Sunday.
Burgess, stepping straight off the plane into the large shoes left by former All Black Byron Kelleher, was almost on the losing side on his French debut after Henry Trinder touched down for a converted try for the English side in the 70th minute.
But four-time former champions Toulouse again showed their never-say-die spirit when it comes to European competition and hit back immediately.
Some slick handling down the short side set fullback Clement Poitrenaud in for a try converted by Lionel Beauxis.
"It's a wonderful team, skilful and very welcoming," said Burgess, who enjoyed a bit part with Australia at the Rugby World Cup behind Will Genia.
"The match was intense, exactly as I expected. It was very difficult, a quick match."
Toulouse, Burgess added, had a good "work ethic, good discipline, they guys support each other very well".
"I was chomping at the bit and was really excited to get a full 80 minutes and start a match," he said, adding that he liked pairing up with former All Black back Luke McAlister at halfback.
"It's a great opportunity to play with an All Black. He's a very talented guy and great person to play with."
Heineken Cup results on Sunday:
Glasgow (SCO) 26 Bath (ENG) 21
At Watford, England
Saracens (ENG) 42 Treviso (ITA) 17
At Toulouse, France
Toulouse (FRA) 21 Gloucester (ENG) 17
Played on Saturday:
At Llanelli, Wales
Scarlets (WAL) 31 Castres (FRA) 23
At Limerick, Republic of Ireland
Munster (IRL) 23 Northampton (ENG) 21
At Reading, England
London Irish (ENG) 19 Edinburgh (SCO) 20
At Montpellier, France
Montpellier (FRA) 16 Leinster (IRL) 16
At Viadana, Italy
Aironi (ITA) 12 Leicester (ENG) 28
Ulster (IRL) 16 Clermont (FRA) 11
At Swansea, Wales
Ospreys (WAL) 28 Biarritz (FRA) 21
Played on Friday:
Racing Metro (FRA) 20 Cardiff Blues (WAL) 26
Harlequins (ENG) 25 Connacht (IRL) 17