Soane Tonga’uiha says he can’t wait to lock horns with some of his former Saints team-mates on Sunday.
Tonga’uiha left Northampton for Racing 92 in the summer of 2013, with his final game for the Franklin’s Gardens club coming in the Aviva Premiership final defeat to Leicester.
He was back at Twickenham for the first time since that disappointing day last weekend as he made his debut for Bristol.
And the Tongan loosehead will now be hoping to be named in the team once again for the clash with Saints at Ashton Gate.
Tonga’uiha could come up against the likes of Alex Waller and Dylan Hartley, who he spent seven years with at Saints having moved to the club from Bedford Blues in 2006.
And the 34-year-old would love to come face to face with his old friends this weekend.
“If selected, I’m really looking forward to taking on Northampton,” Tonga’uiha said.
“I haven’t played against them since I left so it would be nice to bang heads against some of my mates I was playing with for a few years.”
Bristol came agonisingly close to an opening-day win last weekend as they were edged out 21-19 by Harlequins.
And Tonga’uiha, who made 184 appearances for Saints, said: “Other than the result I really enjoyed it.
“I’d been itching to get back in the Premiership for a while and to get that first game under my belt, at Twickenham, was really enjoyable.”
Tonga’uiha is one of a few former Saints players to be plying their trade with Bristol these days, with Ross McMillan and Jon Fisher also at Ashton Gate.
And they will be hoping for a big home support as they bid to win their first home fixture back in the big time.
“If last week was anything to go by then Ashton Gate, if it’s packed, would really be interesting,” Tonga’uiha said.
“It would really help to pick us up when we’re tired and if they really start cheering for us it could swing things our way.”