I'd rather go outside of South Africa and challenge myself
A chat with fellow Bulls forward and former Northampton Saints lock Juandre Kruger convinced Gerrit-Jan van Velze that Franklin's Gardens is the place for him.
Van Velze told the Northampton Chronicle & Echo that he rejected the advances of another English club to sign for Saints.
The Bulls No.8 move to Northampton in the English off-season.
He follows in the footsteps of the Springbok lock, Kruger, who became a fans' favourite at Saints after joining from the Bulls, before moving back to his homeland.
Van Velze, who captained the South African Under-19 side in 2007, being nominated for the International Rugby Board's U19 player of the year award, is also highly-rated.
And that was reflected in the level of interest in the 24-year-old before he tied himself to Saints.
"There was a few more [offers] back home, which made me think I'd rather go outside of South Africa and challenge myself rather than just stay back home and move to another union," van Velze told the Northampton Chronicle & Echo.
"There was one more in England, but I couldn't compare it to the Saints."
Van Velze's move was inspired by Bulls teammate Kruger, who made his Test debut for South Africa in the June series against England.
The lock spent two seasons at Saints, between 2008 and 2010, before moving home to pursue his international ambitions.
Van Velze kept a close eye on Kruger's stay in the Premiership and he is now eager to emulate the achievements of his compatriot.
"We're fortunate to see the Premiership games in pay-TV [in South Africa], so I followed Juandre Kruger quite a lot, because we played together quite a lot then we had a season together with the Bulls. I follow quite a lot of the European rugby.
"It made it easier to move here. I had Brett [Sharman] here and Juandre to speak to back at home. He loved it here for two years, played awesome rugby, came back. I had a lot of questions, he gave me numbers to phone to help me settle in.
"He's a Springbok rugby player at the moment and he did well against England in the June Test series so hopefully if it goes that well I'll be very happy."