Saracens full-back Alex Goode has stated that his recovery from a shoulder injury will see him play better than ever next season.
Goode was speaking at the launch of the new Aviva Premiership season at the BT Tower in London, with Saracens set to open their campaign against London Irish in the Double Header at Twickenham.
The England international was forced to miss out on his country's tour to South America in June after sustaining the injury at the end of the regular season.
Competing with Mike Brown and Ben Foden for national selection, Goode is now targeting a return to England colours whilst also helping Saracens bounce back from a punishing end to last season, were they lost out in both th Aviva Premiership and Heineken Cup semi-finals.
"I'll come back faster, fitter, stronger and having had a full pre-season, looking after my shoulder properly, and coming back hungrier and wanting to get that England shirt back and do well for Saracens," said Goode.
"We came back in Monday for pre-season and it was a good sign to see so many training early on. There's some frustration at the way that we finished last season and we want to put ourselves in a better position.
"It was a disappointing year for us. We put ourselves in a great position at the top of the league - we're not annoyed at the system, because it's happened to Leicester for years - but the way we were against Northampton in the semi-final was disappointing.
"Full credit to Saints, they played unbelievably well and hit us very hard. We have to learn the lessons from it and improve this year."
Saracens' agony in the Heineken Cup semi-final saw them lose out to eventual winners Toulon, with Goode admitting that his side just fell short in terms of international experience at the death.
"We chased it at the end and made some mistakes, but we were right in the game. Very small margins changed the result and perhaps with all Toulon's international experience they just caught us out at the end," added Goode.
"We had showed such good composure leading up to the game and played really well against Ulster in the quarter-final, but come the end of the year we just weren't as good as we could have been in the two biggest games that mattered, which is always disappointing.
"It's gone now and we have to move on and prove people wrong."
by Ben Coles