Luther Burrell says taking part in England’s summer tour of South America was an ‘eye-opener’ for him.
And the barrel-chested centre believes that experience can serve him well as he prepares to build on last season’s showings for Saints.
Burrell shot to prominence early in his Northampton career, scoring three tries in his first four games after joining from Sale.
He endured a mid-season lull but was back in form towards the end of the campaign, helping the club reach the Premiership final, which they lost to Leicester.
That late-season form was rewarded with an England call and though Burrell didn’t get a Test run-out in the 2-0 series win against Argentina he says he still learned plenty from the trip.
“It was all positive,” said the 25-year-old. “Unfortunately I didn’t get a Test cap but I did play in the first game and it was an eye-opener in terms of intensity and the players that are there.
“It was brilliant for me. I’m still learning a lot so being around the best players in the county was brilliant.
“It’s also refreshing to get an outsider’s advice in terms of coaching. We had Mike Catt out there, who was brilliant, he’s a legend, so to get tips and advice from him was brilliant.
“Hopefully I’ll stay in contact with him and he’ll help me progress my game as well.”