Courtney Lawes is ready and raring to go for the season ahead after making his return from injury on Friday night.
The England lock emerged from the bench at half-time to help Saints secure a comfortable 42-10 pre-season win against the Dragons at Rodney Parade.
Lawes was typically influential as his side took the game away from the home side, who failed to score a single point during the second period.
And the 29-year-old was pleased to be back in action, having not played since suffering a knee ligament injury in England's Six Nations game against France back in March.
"It was all right," Lawes said after his performance against the Dragons. "In my old age, you kind of learn where to run and where not to run and not get too out of breath.
"It was a pretty tough season last season after playing most of the games in the season before and then the Lions tour as well.
"It was good to get a bit of a break, freshen up, work on some stuff that you don't normally get the chance to work on and hopefully come back and put it on the pitch.
"You can only tell the difference when you feel a bit fresher.
"At the time, you're just getting through it, going game to game but you do look back and realise how tired you were mentally and physically.
"It is what it is and it's what I'm paid to do I suppose, but it's nice to freshen up and be back out there again on Friday night.
"I'm good to go now."
At one point last season, Lawes was the Lions tourist with the most domestic minutes played during the campaign.
He dealt with a relentless workload for club and country and it eventually took its toll on him, so he saw his enforced spell on the sidelines as a positive.
"I enjoyed it," Lawes said.
"I got to spend a bit more time at home and having the twins (Lawes became a dad for the fourth time with newborn twins), it was great to spend more time with them.
"I enjoyed the time off and you've got to deal with the hand that's dealt to you.
"I don't see the point in getting too depressed about being injured - you've got to do your best, work on what you can work on and enjoy the time you get."
The typically laid-back Lawes has taken everything in his stride, including the new era at Saints.
Having come through the club's Academy, making his debut during the 2007/08 season, Lawes had only ever know the management of Jim Mallinder until the director of rugby departed last December.
But Lawes has not been fazed by the changes in the coaching setup and he is sure that new boss Chris Boyd can bring the good times back to Franklin's Gardens.
"It's been great, really good so far and I'm sure it will continue," Lawes said.
"The main thing is that the boys stick together and the coaches so it's going to be an enjoyable season, regardless of what happens.
"I kind of roll with the punches and I'm happy as long as I get to play and come to work every day with the lads."
Saints have drafted in the likes of Dan Biggar and James Haskell this summer.
And Lawes said: "There's a lot of strength in depth and I'm pretty sure they're going to rotate the team well.
"There will be good competition for places when hopefully we get those play-offs and things like that."