After what was the international front rower's first full off-season in almost a decade, Dan Cole speaks to LTTV from the Leicester Tigers Training Ground about the pre-season schedule so far and shares his thoughts on the new additions to the squad.
"It was nice to get away and spend time with the family after a fairly long season ... or ten," Cole said with a smile.
The Tigers prop was rested for England's tour of South Africa after a gruelling club season, Autumn International and Six Nations schedule and 2017 summer on tour with the British & Irish Lions, but did tune in to watch his Red Rose team mates take on the Springboks.
"They played good rugby and put themselves in a position to win games," he said.
"The results are the results."
The front-rower faced an unusual prospect following the summer break, returning for the first week of pre-season training with his team mates that includes a whole host of new additions to the Tigers pack Cole has been a mainstay in since debuting in 2007.
Speaking of the new additions, including a former U16s representative team mate of Cole's, the front rower was quick to praise their efforts so far.
"They all have plenty of experience," he said.
"They will all be assets to the squad."
"We need to be good for week one of the season, not week one of pre-season."Dan Cole
As well as internationals Gaston Cortes and David Denton, plus experienced Premiership campaigners Will Spencer and Guy Thompson all adding much needed depth to Leicester's forward pack in 2018/19, Cole says the mood is "positive" after a review of last season.
"We are feeling fairly positive," the 31-year-old said.
"We have reviewed last season ... hopefully we learn from our mistakes, do things right and get back to where we would like to be."
While the journey back to the top four of the Gallagher Premiership and knockout stages of Europe may have officially begun a month ago on day one of pre-season training, the experienced forward was quick to point out timing was essential in starting the new campaign properly.
"We need to be good for week one of the season, not week one of pre-season."