Owen Franks was in no mood to complain after his surprise omission from New Zealand's World Cup squad.
The 31-year-old, who will join Saints this season, was told on Wednesday that he would not be part of his country's 31-man squad for the tournament in Japan.
It came as a shock for many, with Franks having been a key figure for the All Blacks for so many years.
He is the seventh most-capped New Zealand player and has won two World Cups.
But he will now be playing for Canterbury before arriving at Saints later in the year.
"I'm disappointed," Franks said. "But I'm well aware as a professional athlete, and especially an All Black, that your time in the jersey isn't owed.
"I really can't sit here and complain. I've been to two World Cups and been lucky enough to win two medals.
"I want nothing more than to see those guys lift that trophy."
All Blacks selector Grant Fox says he still wants Franks to stay fit as he may still be required at some point.
"I'm just not sure if we've seen the last of Owen Franks in a Rugby World Cup or a black jersey," Fox said. "Because at the last World Cup we had a couple of props get injured."
All Blacks boss Steve Hansen says Franks as one of the great All Blacks.
"He's certainly shown true character," Hansen said. "His professionalism on and off the field has been magnificent over the years, he's played more than 100 Tests.
"Unfortunately, we as the three selectors, we believe the game requires us to have big, mobile No.1s and No.3s and in this case we just think the other guys that we've named are more so than he and therefore we had to make a tough decision."