Ben Youngs speaks to LTTV about being back in Leicester after starring for England during their Rugby World Cup campaign and his excitement ahead of turning out for Tigers in the European game against Pau.
That enthusiasm and energy I've just experienced during that campaign is what I want to try and bring ... and help the team as much as I can
Ben Youngs says the recent Rugby World Cup in Japan was an "amazing experience" but now he and his fellow international Tigers are back, focus is well and truly on adding to the hard work that has been done by the Leicester squad in preparation for the 2019/20 season.
Youngs is one of five England internationals who have been included in the team to take on Pau at Welford Road in Round 1 of the Challenge Cup and the scrum-half is excited for what is to come from a new-look Tigers squad in the Cup and Premiership campaigns.
"I've been away for a long time ... I haven't played for the club since January," said Youngs, who last turned out for Tigers more than 300 days ago in January of this year when Leicester hosted Ulster at Welford Road.
"To come back is great and have the opportunity to play I love is what I am looking forward to."
Reflecting on his time in Japan, Youngs said: "It has been an amazing experience, what I have experienced over the last twenty weeks."
But, now the experienced No 9 is back at the only club he has called home throughout his decorated career, the 30-year old, senior Tigers player is keen to add "energy" to a side he believes has not yet shown what it is capable of this season.
"That enthusiasm and energy I've just experienced during that campaign is what I want to try and bring ... and help the team as much as I can," he told LTTV.
"I want to try and help the boys now ... try and contribute in any way I can."
In an honest appraisal of recent form from his club mates, the passionate club man said the losses had been taken to heart by the squad and focus on kick starting the next block of fixtures with a strong showing on Saturday afternoon at home.
"We take it to heart every time we don't get the win," admitted Youngs.
"The last game wasn't a reflection of this group.
"We are looking forward to getting home again and being back in front of our home crowd."
England's most-capped back also said it was evident how much hard work had been done during the summer months and early stages of the new season, which was promising.
"A huge amount of work has been done while I've been away ... it's nice to come back to that," he said.
Looking ahead to the showdown with Pau at home, Youngs said the new challenge of a competition he has never featured in was still "exciting" and the way European Cups captivate supporters helped add to the build-up.
"It's a competition ... one I've never played in, so that is kind exciting," said Youngs.
"Europe is always good ... people tend to get captivated by it.
"Hopefully tomorrow gives us a chance to express ourselves a little bit and show what this team has done.
"I know they have worked unbelievably hard this pre-season and last weekend wasn't a reflection of that."
The experienced campaigner was also quick to point out that, despite performances the club accepted were not up to standard had occurred, a lot of rugby was still to be played in the current season and it was still "very early days" in the 2019/20 campaign.
"The amazing thing is that here we are, only four rounds into the Premiership and no rounds of Europe ... it feels like the season has been going a long time, but it actually hasn't," he added.
"It's still very early days ... with the guys coming back from the World Cup, hopefully we can add as much as we can
"There are a fair few new faces who are settling in and settling in well."
Not one to make excuses, the calm and collected Youngs closed with a message for Leicester Tigers supporters and call to arms ahead of the European opener on Saturday afternoon at Welford Road.
"Of course we want to win every game, but I also think don't panic ... there is plenty [of rugby] to go," added Youngs.
"Stick with us, get behind us and make plenty of noise tomorrow."