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Soane admits emotion at Gardens send-off

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Tonga'uiha is heading to France at the end of the current season, and although the big Tongan did not get the try that would have brought the roof off a packed Gardens he helped the Saints pack set the foundation for a 47-7, seven-try win over Sale Sharks that confirmed a fourth successive place in the Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-finals.

With over 200 appearances under his belt over the past seven years it was no surprise that Tonga'uiha received a long standing ovation when he became the first of the team's replacements 15 minutes into the second half.

"It has crept up quite quickly since I made the announcement and it was an emotional moment," he commented. "To get a send-off from the players and the fans like that was a proud moment.

"It was a credit to the team that we played in the same way that we'd been training all week. There had been a few points that we'd been focusing on and they paid dividends."

However while Tonga'uiha will be savouring the moment long into the future, he insists that no one within the Saints squad is considering the season over just quite yet.