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Skipper Harrison ecstatic as Saints emerge from isolation

Club captain Teimana Harrison could not contain his delight after seeing his teammates for the first time in weeks as Northampton Saints returned to Franklin’s Gardens.

The men in Black, Green and Gold emerged from self-isolation on Monday morning, trotting back in to base to complete socially-distanced conditioning sessions in Stage 1 of the return to training guidance.

The move marked the first step towards a return to Gallagher Premiership action, with Chris Boyd’s squad sidelined since a win at Worcester Warriors at the beginning of March due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

A league-wide targeted resumption date has been set for the weekend of August 15, meaning Harrison and his teammates now have a target to work towards, and the five-time England international was all smiles as he was bounded back into the Gardens this week.

“It’s nice to be back with the boys after three months away,” said Harrison. “The body is definitely feeling it, but it’s great to get some proper training into the body and start getting it back to where it was.

“It’s awesome to be back in, even with the social distancing and stuff.

“It feels like pre-season again so I’m not looking forward to that aspect of it, but it’s nice to be back.

“When you’re in isolation you don’t have the facilities of the gym so you’re only lifting minimal weights. So it’s great to get a proper lift in and then stretch out on the field.”

Teimana Harrison

The entire Saints squad had been training at home for the best part of three months, and Harrison admits that isolation had its challenges.

But Northampton’s co-captain is relishing getting back to businesses with a return to competitive rugby finally now on the horizon.

He added: “You see your team-mates more than you see your family most weeks so just being without them was weird.

“Not being in a routine is the biggest killer because you wake up and you’ve got nothing planned.

“We’re back in the process now rather than sitting around waiting for something to be announced.

“As much as it sucks that we haven’t had precise fixture dates officially announced yet, it’s nice to be back in a rhythm and getting the body sorted for when we do get the call.”