FORMER Saint Shane Geraghty says his stint at Franklin’s Gardens made him a stronger player.
The fly-half will come up against his old club this season after moving to London Irish from French side Brive.
Geraghty left Irish in controversial fashion in 2009 as he was accused of joining Saints for financial reasons.
But with Toby Booth and Mike Catt no longer at the Madejski Stadium, the player has been welcomed back by boss Brian Smith.
Geraghty was an enigmatic figure during his stay at Saints, looking like a world beater at times and a panel beater at others.
His inconsistency eventually cost him dear as the club allowed him to seek pastures new, but he has fond memories of his two-year spell in Northampton and believes it aided his development.
“From my part I was trying to come with no baggage just come and get on with it and past is the past,” Geraghty told ESPN Scrum.
“I think all players get a bit of stick for not playing well and making decisions that people do not agree with.
“When any player leaves a club, especially a home-grown one, then some people aren’t going to be happy for me.
“I moved to Northampton I was involved in the Heineken Cup final, semi-final and the Premiership semi-final so in terms of improving my rugby it was a strong club and I experienced a lot there to help my rugby.
“People around me say that I have matured a little bit and with age you get a bit of experience and you try and learn from your mistakes, I’m engaged now and I’ve got a dog so my life’s maybe a bit more settled.
“I’m just looking forward to getting back into the Premiership.
“You look at the players we have in the backline, and the new signings coming in and when you look around the Premiership I think that’s the backline the can play some rugby.”