New recruit Gonzalo Tiesi is delighted to be back in the Aviva Premiership, and now just cannot wait to get stuck into the thick of the action for London Welsh.
The Argentina centre, 27, part of the side that beat Wales at the Millennium Stadium in the autumn internationals, knows what the Premiership is all about following spells at London Irish and Harlequins.
Tiesi will make his debut in Sunday's LV=- Cup trip to Newport Gwent Dragons and is looking forward to the challenge.
“I’m very pleased to be back in the Premiership after a few years. It’s exciting times for London Welsh - it’s a club with a lot of history.
“I’m very excited about the squad; everyone has the goal of retaining the club’s Premiership position.
"I’m looking forward to the challenge and trying to add something to the team over the next four months to ensure the club’s Premiership place for next season.
“I’ve been following the team since I made the decision to come and they’ve been doing really well. They’ve surprised more than one team and hopefully we can keep doing that.”
Tiesi joined London Irish in 2004 from San Isidro Club before moving to Harlequins in 2008.
In his first season at the Stoop he helped the club reach the Premiership semi-finals and the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup. He joined Stade Francais in 2011.
In all, he made 40 appearances in the Premiership during his spells at London Irish and Harlequins, while also making 26 appearances in Europe in the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup.
“I had a good time in England so it was an easy decision to come back. It’s a new club, a new atmosphere and I’m looking forward to it - I’m very excited,” he said.
“I have the experience of having played here for almost four and a half seasons, so I know what the Premiership is all about. Having played in France, the Premiership is the best competition in Europe. It allows you to develop as a player and I want to keep getting better.”
Tiesi’s recall to the national side last November came over a year after his last appearance for the Pumas, when he’d picked up an injury against England at the 2011 World Cup.
His international return, however, meant he missed the business end of the Top 14 season in Argentina, with his club side San Isidro Club reaching the play-offs before missing out.
Victory over Wales at the Millennium Stadium, however, more than made up for that.
“That was a very good experience for me after the World Cup. It was my first international back so it was really important to me and I’ll always have a good memory of that game,” he said.
“We don’t often win at the Millennium Stadium, so it was a great experience. We took the positives out of playing against New Zealand, Australia and South Africa and it will make us a lot better.”
For now, though, Tiesi’s focus is on London Welsh.
Welsh team to face the Dragons:
London Welsh: 15. Tom Voyce, 14. Joe Ajuwa, 13. Gonzalo Tiesi, 12. Sonny Parker, 11. Phil MacKenzie, 10. Ryan Davis, 9. Alex Davies; 1. Tom Bristow, 2. Neil Briggs, 3. Greg Bateman, 4. Jonathan Mills, 5. Matt Corker, 6. Lee Beach (c), 7. Ryan Newman, 8. Daniel Browne.
Replacements: 16. Gareth Evans, 17. Franck Montanella, 18. James Tideswell, 19. Adam Brown, 20. Ed Williamson, 21. Tyson Keats, 22. Gavin Henson, 23. James Lewis.