WALES international prop Aaron Jarvis returned to his roots on Tuesday night when he joined Tamar Saracens for a pre-season session.
The 30-year-old former Bath and Ospreys forward started his senior career with Sarries while a student at Ivybridge Community College.
He has continued to follow their progress and was more than happy to lend a hand to the newly-promoted Cornwall/Devon League side after returning from touring New Zealand with Wales.
“It has been a long time since I’ve been back,” said Devon-born Jarvis, who will ply his trade in France next season for Top 14 side Clermont Auvergne. “I played for Tamar Saracens when I was in college. My father-in-law introduced me to the club.
“They were the first team I ever played men’s senior rugby for and it helped me at that age – 17 or 18 – to realise what it takes to play in a men’s environment. I’ll be forever thankful to the guys that were here then when I played.
“I really enjoyed my time here, so it’s nice to come back.”
He added: “I have been meaning to come down for ages. It’s just been timing, but now I’ve got a week or so at home before I move to France, so it was perfect to get it done.”
Jarvis, who was part of Wales’ World Cup squad, has only been back in the UK a week after going on tour to New Zealand, where the All Blacks claimed a whitewash.
“It was tough – it had been a long season,” he said. “But I think we learnt a lot out there about why they (New Zealand) are so good and their culture. I really enjoyed my time out there.”
Jarvis, meanwhile, is delighted to have seen Saracens earned back-to-back promotions and he hopes his appearance at training this week will have helped inspire a few of their younger players.
“They are doing very well,” he said. “I speak to my father-in-law and see how they are getting on and the last couple of seasons they have done very well.”
Jarvis joined the Saracens players for a fitness session, which had been set by Clermont Auvergne, before doing a number of coaching drills with the squad.
And he admitted there is a good chance Plymouth rugby supporters might see him in a Tamar Saracens shirt in the future.
“I did promise my father-in-law (Tamar Saracens president Huw Davies) that I would pull it on in my last ever season, so I might have to one day,” he said.