Victor Matfield feels he and Dan Carter have followed similar career paths.
And the South African star is ready to square up to the New Zealand fly-half when Saints face Racing 92 at Stade Yves du Manoir on Saturday.
Carter is set to make his Racing debut in the Champions Cup clash.
And Matfield said: “He’s probably the same as myself. He had that quick stint at Perpignan at the same time I was at Toulon.
“For the rest of our careers, he’s been at the Crusaders and the All Blacks, I’ve been with the Bulls and the Boks so it will be interesting to see him in a different system and a different way of thinking about the game.
“It was a long time ago when I first played against him.
“The Crusaders won the Super Rugby title seven times, then we won three times, beating them in the semi-finals.
“I’ve played him a lot in international rugby and he’s a fantastic player and a great guy as well.
“It will be interesting to see because he’s so used to running the show that fitting into another setup and adapting to what they want him to do will be intriguing.”