England international Deacon got 40 minutes of game-time in the second pre-season game of the summer and is now looking towards a return to Welford Road with the big kick-off just two weeks away.
After missing the end of last season with a shoulder injury, Deacon said: “The last time I played was six months ago so it was great to get out there again.
“I had a bit of a sore groin after training this week so I wasn’t sure if I was going to able to play, but I really wanted to get some game-time – otherwise it makes it even tougher next week when the season is just one week away from there.”
Deacon, now in his 14th season as a Tigers first-teamer, played the full first half as Tigers brought in four British & Irish Lions and senior internationals including Toby Flood, Steve Mafi and Logovi’I Mulipola for their first pre-season run-out.
“We were playing into a tough wind in the first half so it was hard work, but I felt pretty good,” said Deacon. “My shoulder feels good so I’m very happy with that.
“I didn’t feel too tired because we have trained hard, done a lot of ‘live’ training in set-pieces and I have spent time on the Watt Bike and on conditioning.
“It is one of the best pre-seasons I think I’ve had in quite a few years.
“I’ve had six months without a game but that’s all extra time for my shoulder and it feels really good. I would have liked to stay on for longer today but we didn’t want to push it too far after having a sore groin this week. But I enjoyed it and now it’s another step towards the start of the season.”
Tigers are back in action this Saturday when Ulster are the visitors to Welford Road in the last game of the pre-season programme.
The new Aviva Premiership season kicks off against Worcester Warriors at Welford Road on Sunday, September 8 (3pm). Tickets are available now.