Exeter hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie was pleased to "dust off the cobwebs" as he featured in their pre-season victory over Ulster last weekend.
Their 25-19 triumph at Sandy Park saw the England international get his first taste of competitive rugby since June as he played for an hour.
And he feels the Chiefs are building up nicely for the new 2016/17 campaign, which begins against Wasps at the Ricoh Arena on September 4.
"It was nice to get out there, it's been a while and the lungs definitely felt it," he revealed when speaking to Exeter Chiefs' official website.
"That said, the boys looked strong and we put in a decent enough performance.
"We were disappointed to let a couple of tries in at the end, that was perhaps a lack of concentration on our part, but we had swapped a lot of boys in during the second half and that can sometimes happen in pre-season.
"Overall, though, everyone looks fit and raring to go for the new season."
Having already accrued pre-season wins over Ulster and the Scarlets (45-3), the Chiefs will wrap up their programme on Friday when they make the trip to Newport to face yet more PRO12 opposition in the shape of the Dragons.
"I think the coaches have looked at most of the boys over these first two games," said Cowan-Dickie. "I think it will be a bit different for the next game, we probably won’t run as many players and it will be treated a lot more like a league game.
"Having Wasps first up in the Premiership is a pretty tasty first match, last year we had some really good games with them, but we’re looking forward to the start of the season and seeing what we can do."
He added on last weekend's win: "For me, it was good to dust off the cobwebs as it’s been a while since I played. Having that contact is a lot different to what you do in training as you don’t want to hurt boys at all and you want to keep people fresh for the weekend.
"This week will be another step up again, we’re away from home and it will be another decent test for us. Hopefully we can go up there, play well and end pre-season with another win and be unbeaten."