NEC Harlequins flank forward Pat Sanderson made a welcome return to Quins colours last weekend, after an eight week absence, looking fit and ready to challenge once again for a regular place in the starting line up after two troublesome seasons of stop start rugby.
"It was good to get out there and get part of a game under my belt, and come away not injured," said the 25 year-old Chester born forward.
"I felt pretty strong out there, feel quick again, and the more rugby I get the better I'll be. So all in all, personally quite a good start but obviously the wrong result and it is going to be real hard work next week."
Stade Francais seemed intent on defending for the 80 minutes last Saturday (7th December 2002) and hoping to sneak something on a breakaway, and their tactics worked a treat as the Paris based club kept their line intact and hit Quins with a sucker punch on the half-hour.
"We've watched them on video but we really don't know an awful lot about them, other than the fact they are not very French. They've got an English / South African defence and some very good broken field runners, but I don't think that they were playing for a 0-0 out there, I just thought that defences were on top."
"When you've got two good defences that are hammering away at each other then it might look a bit dull but from a rugby purist they say what a great defence, but they lived off our mistakes and didn't look to create anything and in the end came out comfortable winners, deservedly."
Sanderson though is looking forward to the return leg this weekend (14th December 2002) and hopes to continue grabbing some game time and take his place back in the starting line-up in a revamped back row.
"In the next few weeks, I am hoping to get some more rugby under my belt and start hitting the form I was in when I got injured, but the rehab has gone really well," confided Sanderson.
"I couldn't have worked any harder. My brother has been down here for six weeks and we've done an awful lot together and it has gone really well and we are both in great shape so I'm looking forward to it - I can only be positive."
"The team has shown signs of playing well this year, and shown signs that we can do something in the league and I want to be part of that, and with Andre (Vos) coming into the side it looks even better and I look forward to playing alongside him and keen to get a lot more playing time in at long last."
During week commencing 22nd April Harlequins will launch an innovative, new Membership Scheme which will replace the existing Season Ticket Holder Programme. Further details of the scheme will be announced in due course.