Since then, he has played his rugby in both France and South Africa before signing for Gloucester this close season and he confesses that he is now far better prepared for life in the Premiership.
"For me being back in England now is very different from when I came to Northampton. Firstly I just got married a month ago, so I've come over with my wife and that makes it easier to settle.
"I'm settling in very well. The city is very nice and the people here are very friendly to me. I'm very happy and my wife is too.
"I've got a new chance here and it's a great opportunity, I'm very happy to have another chance in the Premiership. Gloucester is a very good club.
"I feel I'm coming back with far more experience than I had the last time. It's a good chance for me, and the coach told me that it's a big opportunity and one that I have to take because it's very important for me and my rugby.
"I've got more experience, I've grown up as a player and as a man and I think it's going to be great for me, this year.
"I'm here in a different situation, and hopefully I can play far more games than I did at Northampton. Then I was a player for the future whereas now I can contribute straightaway."
Argentina is renowned for producing big scrummagers and Cortese appears to be another one off the production line.
When weighing up his options for this season, it was brought to Matias' attention that the Gloucester supporters are quite appreciative of a good forward pack and this, he admits, helped to make up his mind.
"The history and tradition is one of the reasons why I chose Gloucester, because I had another offer from a South African club, but in Gloucester they have a good scrum.
I'm an Argentinian prop so I love the scrum, I feel it very strongly. This is the kind of club where I can play and that's why I chose Gloucester.
"Talking with the coaches here, they said they want me on the pitch as a hooker, but for the national team I've played number one and number three.
"It's good for me to be versatile, and it's more options for the coach but now I think I'm going to play more at hooker here."
Finally, a couple of weeks into preseason training, how's he coping with everything?
"How have I found it so far? It's rained a lot and I've also had some problems with my body clock as it's been getting light very early in the morning!
At the moment it's very hard because we have the pre-season but we know that we must put the training in now to make sure we can play good rugby."