Now fully settled into life at the Saints, Louis Picamoles is relishing Saturday’s match up with his first club, Montpellier, at Franklin’s Gardens.
The French no.8 joined the club as a 13-year-old and remains close friends with a number of current and past players. Plenty has changed over the years at the Altrad Stadium, however, and Picamoles is expecting a stern challenge to open up the Saints’ Champions Cup campaign.
“I left the club a long time ago but playing against Montpellier is always special for me,” he commented. “It’s the club where I discovered rugby.
“It’s an important game for me but I try to enjoy it rather than add more pressure to it.
“The club has changed a lot since I left. There are only two players I know from my time there and that’s flanker Fulgence Ouedraogo and scrum-half Benoît Paillaugue.
“There are a lot of South Africans in their pack and they play like South Africans with a lot of physicality. It’s going to be a fierce battle up front.”
Settling on the field has taken minimal time for the Frenchman, who has turned in a string of outstanding performances already.
“I am pretty happy with how I played so far but I’m never too pleased about it,” he added. “Improving is what’s driving me but I’m really enjoying myself in this team and that’s very important to me.
“My teammates and the staff have been great to make me feel welcome. Then once we’re on the pitch it’s easier because we all speak the same language – rugby!
“The move has been great for me. It’s very refreshing and I think I needed it. I was a bit worried about it but I quickly felt at ease at the club and it only gets better with my teammates as the games go on.
“I’ve only played five matches for the club but I do feel like I’ve been here for a lot longer.”
Get behind Louis and the lads as they start their European campaign at home this Saturday (Oct 15th). Book tickets for Saints v Montpellier by CLICKING HERE and use the code LOUIS to enjoy 20% off standard prices!