Falcons in perfect form ahead of Premiership season

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 10:31
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NEWS: Scotland international Jon Welsh says Newcastle Falcons' unbeaten pre-season run has left the side in a perfect position for Friday’s Premiership kick-off match against Sale Sharks.

The clash will see Welsh make his first competitive outing since the January victory over Bath when a toe injury sidelined the front rower.

The 29-year-old prop capped 11 times by his country, including at last year’s Rugby World Cup.

"I think results in pre-season do matter, whatever some people might say," said Welsh.
 
"A run of victories builds momentum going into your first league game, we have won all of our games against some good teams and as a result, the confidence here is very high. I think we are in a completely different place to where we were last season.

"That is just through getting the foundations right in pre-season, by which I mean shape on the pitch, game plan and things like that, but also off the field. Everyone knows each other that bit better, the new signings have bedded in well and we are definitely in a much stronger position.

"A lot of players came late into the group because of the World Cup and there were a lot of new signings, so we didn’t have that luxury of building a team and gelling in the way that most teams would have in pre-season. It felt around that Christmas time like we starting to build something good when my injury came. I wasn’t able to be out there for the rest of the season and it is great now to be back and looking forward to games,"

However, Welsh was forced to watch from the stands due to injury.

"Injury is the bane of any player’s career, and to get it so early into the club season was really heartbreaking," he said.

"If you’re a front row forward I don’t think you can really take a break at any point at all. The staff were brilliant here on the medical and the strength and conditioning side, they put me through my paces and looked after me at the same time.

"My outlook now is that last season is completely gone, we have put it behind us and everyone is focused purely on Sharks.

"You do as much analysis as you can, but the general consensus among the squad and the staff here is that everyone is just really excited. I have obviously been out for a lot longer so I really can’t wait to get into it. We have had a good look at Sale, we are in a good place and we feel like we’re ready,"

 

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 25 November 2017
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 12h45 Welford Road
Bath v Harlequins 12h45 Recreation Ground
Italy v South Africa 13h00 Rome
Scotland v Australia 14h30 Edinburgh
England v Samoa 15h00 Twickenham
Wales v New Zealand 17h15 Cardiff
Ireland v Argentina 17h30 Aviva Stadium
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 17h30 AJ Bell Stadium
France v Japan 19h00 Paris
Sun, 26 November 2017
Kings v Scarlets 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Liberty Stadium
Zebre v Munster 13h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Allianz Park
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Fri, 01 December 2017
Kings v Edinburgh 17h15 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Glasgow Warriors v Cardiff Blues 18h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Dragons v Ulster 18h35 Rodney Parade
Worcester Warriors v Sale Sharks 18h45 Sixways
Northampton Saints v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
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Harlequins 8 4 0 3 20
Northampton Saints 8 4 0 4 20
Newcastle Falcons 9 4 0 5 20
Sale Sharks 8 2 0 6 15
Worcester Warriors 8 1 0 7 8
London Irish 8 1 0 7 7