Flanker Tom Croft insists he is relishing the chance of facing off against his British & Irish Lions teammates for Leicester Tigers now that the new Premiership season is underway.
Having returned to action last season following a eight-month lay-off to recover from a broken neck Croft helped the Tigers lift yet another Premiership title and made five appearances for the Lions on their successful tour Down Under.
The 27-year-old started the new season in good form helping Leicester get the defence of the Premiership crown underway with a 32-15 victory over Worcester Warriors and insists he can’t wait to rekindle the many friendships he made over the summer.
"It will be nice to see them all again. The beauty of a Lions tour is that you make friendships for life,” said Croft.
"We have a lot of respect for each other – but that doesn't mean we don't want to beat each other on the field.
"It has been a mad summer. So much has happened and it has been hectic.
"So I am looking forward to getting back to work, back to the day job of helping the Tigers have what I hope will be another successful season."