Settled Tuala still '˜starstruck' by Saints team-mates
Ahsee Tuala admits he is still '˜starstruck' by his Saints team-mates.
And the full-back is loving life at Franklin’s Gardens, where he is now a feature of the first-team squad.
Tuala has started both of Saints’ opening two games, lining up on the wing against Bath and at full-back against Bristol.
The Samoan moved to Northampton from Counties Manukau Steelers in February last year and signed a contract extension 13 months later.
He is now fully settled at Saints and enjoying playing alongside some of the biggest names in rugby.
“I’m a bit starstruck most of the time when I get on the field and see George North, Louis Picamoles, Luther (Burrell) and George and Ken (Pisi),” Tuala said.
“We’ve still got guys like TC (Tom Collins) and George Furbank, the young guys, to come so it’s an exciting squad here.
“To be playing with these guys is a whole different level and I’m just grateful to have the chance to be here.
“I’m just happy to get some game time and the opportunity to play with the lads.
“It’s coming up to my second year now and I’ve just been learning from the senior boys.
“I’m feeling very comfortable at the moment.
“I’ve learned a lot at Saints and I’m improving my game each time. It’s a massive benefit for me being here.”
Tuala has slimmed down since joining Saints, citing his team-mates’ willingness to work hard as one of the things he has been most impressed by.
And the affable 27-year-old, who is nicknamed ‘Ace’, feels the team is really starting to get into gear.
“We’re really starting to click now, getting some good front-foot ball from the forwards and the likes of George North and Kenny (Pisi) are finishing off some good tries.
“It’s really positive at the moment.”
But Saints now face a huge test as they head to Saracens for an Aviva Premiership game on Saturday.
And Tuala said: “The boys are fired up and really excited.
“They’re the top team, they’ve got a good record and we’re just excited to go there and be the best we can.
“I know the mindest for this week is up there and we’ll definitely bring the physicality on Saturday.
“The crowds get stuck into you in these games and it’s awesome playing against a quality side like that.
“You want to play the best because it’s a good marker to see where you’re at.”