Tuilagi “feeling good” ahead of first Premiership start
After beginning his Falcons career with two appearances from the bench, Sunday’s game against Northampton marks the first start in Falcons colours for Alesana (Alex) Tuilagi and one that he has eagerly been awaiting.
Tuilagi has been away from the Aviva Premiership for two seasons’ following a stint with the NTT Shining Arcs but on the evidence of his contribution in the games against Edinburgh, Leicester and London Irish, the 33 year old has lost none of his power aggression and go forward.
Arriving towards the end of August along with his wife, daughters and brother Anitelea (Andy), the two brothers have been settling into their new surroundings and getting to grips with their new club environment.
“Things have gone really well so far. We arrived towards the end of pre season and we’ve just found a house so hopefully we can get moved in next week. There will be my wife, our kids, my brother Andy and our nephew Brian (currently playing for Newcastle Falcons Academy while studying at Northumbria University) and it will be nice to all be together as a family here in Newcastle.”
Thrown almost straight into action, Tuilagi arrived 48 hours before making an appearance from the bench in the pre season friendly at Hawick, he has had to get up to speed very quickly, but this is not something that has been too much trouble for the powerful Samoan.
“We have had to work a little bit on fitness which was tough at the start with jet lag, but I’m now getting used to the game again after spending two years away and I’m feeling good.”
With the Japanese season a much shorter affair than in England, observers could be forgiven for expecting Alesana to need a period of time to readjust to the Premeirship’s demands, however the player himself states he hasn’t noticed much of a difference.
“The Premiership is still a tough competition but it hasn’t really changed from what I remember at Leicester, maybe it is a little bit faster, particularly the home games with the new 3G pitch but I think I’m more or less up to speed and I am looking forward to Sunday.”
Having been involved in a number of high intensity encounters against the Saints in his time at Leicester, Tuilagi knows his team are going to have to be at their best if they wish to get their first win of the season.
“Northampton is always a tough game and I remember some really hard ones when I played them with Leicester. It will be even tougher after they lost to Wasps last weekend but the boys are ready and it is going to be a good game.”
Tickets for Sunday’s game are still available by calling 0871 2266060 or by clicking [here], with supporters reminded that advance prices are valid up to 12 noon on match day.