Saints scrum half Tom Kessell said that it was good to finally play at the Gardens again ahead of the 2016/17 season which starts next month.
Kessell started at scrum half as the Saints secured a 35-19 victory over his former club, the Cornish Pirates, in the first of two pre-season matches in the Double Header at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday afternoon.
Speaking to SaintsTV, Kessell said: “The lungs were burning a little bit towards the end but it’s nice it finally get out there and play.
“It’s always nice to start the season with a win at home. It was a bit frustrating at times but I think the boys put in a lot of good performances.”
Kessell first joined the Cornish Pirates in 1995 before signing at the Saints last summer, and he went on to say that whilst he enjoyed playing against his former teammates, he treated the clash like any other match.
“There’s a lot of people I know in that team so it’s always nice to try and play against them because you don’t always get to play against your friends all the time. You just try and treat it as a normal game and just put your head down and try and do your job.”
Looking ahead, Kessell added that these pre-season matches are invaluable when it comes to preparing for the forthcoming season.
“There’s always things you can go away and work on. I can guarantee that we’ll get told through the week and we’ll have to go away and look at it. It’s part of pre-season, it’s why we have to do these things so we’re ready for when we kick off the season.”