Rugby in North East England hotting up

The feelgood factor has taken hold again in Newcastle, with the high-flying Falcons making significant gains on all fronts.

Sunday’s 15-11 Guinness Premiership victory at hot favourites London Irish made it three league wins on the bounce for Steve Bates’ side, with the biggest home attendance of the season so far expected at Friday night’s visit of Northampton Saints.

Strong pre-sales indicate that the Falcons are well-placed to build on their top-half-of-the-league position and beat the attendance figure of 5,714, which witnessed a 17-17 draw with Harlequins at Kingston Park back in September.

The good news just keeps on coming for the club with all but the very last few remaining 700 corporate places already sold for Friday night’s encounter, as interest in North-East rugby continues to hot up.

On the same day that the club’s first team defeated second-placed London Irish 15-11 the Falcons Development XV ran in 42 points in beating the Scottish Exiles, with director of rugby Steve Bates saying: “It’s starting to come together for us.

“We had a tough start to the season on the back of so many new arrivals to the squad over the summer, but we always knew it was going to take time and that work is just starting to bear a little fruit these past few weeks.

“We’re not getting ahead of ourselves at all because we know that every game in the Guinness Premiership is extremely tough, but there is a definite buzz in all departments of the club right now.

“Speaking with our supporters at a talk-in last week, there is an enormous amount of goodwill within the region and beyond for the Falcons to be successful.

“We’re just starting to see an upward curve emerging now with ticket sales going well for the Northampton Saints game, the corporate areas virtually sold out and the team being placed in the top half of the league, so we have great foundations on which to build.”

Newcastle Falcons lock James Hudson echoed those sentiments on the back of Sunday’s victory at his former club, London Irish , stating: “We’re all in this together.

“The boys are really playing for each other, you can see that from the manner of our performances and it’s great that our supporters are coming out and backing the club.

“Those guys sat on a bus for nine hours to come down and cheer us on against London Irish, that really means the world to us and hopefully we can repay their support with our efforts out on the pitch.

“This week against Northampton Saints is a really good chance to put in a great home performance for our fans with a big Friday night atmosphere, the excitement and belief is definitely with us at the moment and we just can’t wait to get back out there.”

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