Golding returns to the fold for Newcastle Falcons

Newcastle prop Jon Golding hits the comeback trail this weekend, hoping to pick up where he left off after a barnstorming start to the season.

The Falcons loose head claimed man-of-the-match honours in his last outing a month ago, as his Falcons side powered its way to a gutsy 12-6 Guinness Premiership victory at London Wasps.

All the more galling for the Northumbrian was the fact that he had broken a rib in the game, when talk in rugby circles was that he was in line for a potential England call-up.

“It’s good to be back, and it’s been a long four weeks for me,” said the 27-year-old, who starts at loose head prop this Saturday as the Falcons travel to Northampton Saints.

“It’s been virtually like a pre-season with the training I’ve been doing Monday to Friday with our conditioner Andy Smith, so I’m feeling fitter and stronger than ever. The weekends have been a nightmare though, because there’s been a gap to be filled with having no rugby to play.

“I’ve been dragged round the shops a few times, and I think escaping from the high street was enough motivation to get back playing as quickly as possible!”

Explaining the injury, Golding said: “It was pretty sore for a couple of weeks, but a broken rib is one of those annoying ones where it takes time to heal and there’s nothing you can really do to speed it up. I’ve just been training hard, trying to keep my focus and the aim was always to get back fit for this weekend’s game at Northampton.”

Refusing to dwell on what might have been with regards to any potential England call-up, a modest Golding played down talk of international action despite his consistently powerful club form earning him rave reviews on the Guinness Premiership scene.

“The injury came at a bad time for me personally, but I know that the team is the most important thing,” he said.

“I was injured before England had a chance to pick their Saxons and Six Nations squad, so it wasn’t a case of being selected and then withdrawn, and I wasn’t taking anything for granted in terms of being called up or anything like that.

“It was very frustrating though and I seem to have a knack of getting injured at the wrong time, like when I did my ankle at the end of last season and couldn’t be considered for the Churchill Cup. Who knows what could have happened, but I’m not the sort to sit and whinge about it. You just have to crack on, get yourself fit and do your best when you get your chance.”

But does the prospect of an England call-up still burn bright?

“You’re always striving for goals like that, and I’m sure every player is the same,” said Golding

“If I stay injury-free, then why not? I’ll just keep giving my best for the Falcons, get back into it and put all other thoughts out of my head. If I get called up it’s a bonus, but Newcastle is the most important thing this weekend.”

Despite being out for the past four weeks Golding has still racked up a full house on the league front, revealing: “I don’t know how I’ve managed it, but I’ve not missed a single Guinness Premiership game this season.

“I’ve been getting a bit of stick from the lads about being out for the all the Cup games over the past month, but in terms of league action it seems to have worked out okay.

“The boys have done really well without me in the past few weeks, especially in the scrum, and it’s good that we have a healthy competition for every place in the pack at the moment. I’m happy to be able to play again, but I know that the shirt has to be earned every week through the way I perform.”

Turning attention to Saturday’s challenge at Franklin’s Gardens, Golding said of his former club: “They came up here and beat us on our own pitch, they were better than us that night and we had to take it on the chin.

“A lot has happened since then, we’ve had a few good away wins and we’ve got a bit of momentum about us. It’

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