Johnston warming up for life with Sarries
December 20, 2006

Prop Census Johnston has been on the training pitch with his new team mates this week and the Samoan prop is hoping to be in action for Saracens over the Christmas period.

A finger injury picked up during the Autumn internationals for the Pacific Islands delayed the start to his Saracens career, but the 24-year-old joined is now back in training. And although Friday's game against Harlequins could come too soon, he could be involved in the festive Guinness Premiership fixtures including Northampton Saints when they visit Vicarage Road on Wednesday 27th December, kick off 7.45pm.

The 20st powerhouse prop, who can play either side of the scrum but prefers tighthead, is no stranger to European rugby having been part of the Biarritz team which made the Heineken Cup final last year before returning to New Zealand to play for Taranaki in the NPC Championship.

"I'm starting to find my feet now," explained the international who is widely regarded as one of the most exciting young props in the world. "I spent in week at Saracens after I'd injured my finger and then went home to just pack things up. I'm now just settling in and getting on with training. I'm really looking forward to playing for Saracens and hopefully, if I can impress the coaches in training, I'll be involved within the next couple of weeks and push for a starting spot."

Having injured his finger in the Pacific Islands first test against Wales, he's been able to get a few weeks rest after nearly a year of non-stop rugby. "I'm one of those who prefers to keep playing and training," he added. "Although I've had the injury, I've been able to do some fitness work it's just that I've had to avoid contact.

"But I'm really enjoying the whole new experience of meeting new guys and seeing the new surroundings. Obviously, I know a few of the guys from the Pacific Islands squad so that has also helped me settle in."

The Samoan faces some stiff competition for a place in the starting line-up with the likes of Cobus Visagie in the Saracens squad.

He added: "I know that Cobus is a very good player with a lot of experience and I'll be able to learn a lot from him. I also know there are good other props at the club and there will be a lot of competition for a starting spot. But all I can do is take it day by day, try to impress the coaches, take my opportunities and then see what happens."

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