Dom Barrow is champing at the bit ahead of this Friday’s LV= Cup clash with Newport Gwent Dragons at Kingston Park.
The 20-year-old back-row, who was an integral part of the England Under-20s side that lifted the Junior World Cup crown last summer, is set to return to action following a lengthy spell on the side line. Sustaining a grade two hamstring tear during a routine training session in the build-up to Newcastle Falcons’ Aviva Premiership trip to Northampton Saints back in November, Barrow admits it was a bitter pill to have to swallow.
Explaining the reasons for his injury, Barrow said: “Joel Hodgson nipped round me in a drill and because I didn’t want him to get past me I pushed myself too much and felt it go.
“It’s been frustrating to have to watch the boys week in and week out from the stands, but I guess moving into my new house within the last couple of months and spending Christmas with the family has kept my spirits high.
“The last couple of weeks I’ve been training hard and I can’t wait to get stuck in now.”
Now fighting fit and ready to claw back the regular starting berth he once had at the beginning of this term, Barrow believes he is in tip-top shape ahead of a big month for the club.
Barrow said: “I feel like my fitness is back to where it was when I joined the club and I’ve had a month of tough running sessions.
“I’ve really pushed myself to get into shape and I’ve maintained a good weight. I might have been a bit rusty with my first couple of training sessions but hopefully I can pick up where I left off and hit the ground running.”
This Friday sees the Falcons take on RaboDirect Pro12 outfit Newport with both sides looking to set the tone ahead of their return to league action the following week with neither side able to progress to the LV= Cup semi-finals.
But despite sections of the media labelling the match as a dead rubber, Barrow insists a victory could set the perfect platform going into next week’s trip to Bath Rugby.
“Although we can’t progress in this competition you can’t underestimate how important a win will be to take to The Rec next weekend,” said Barrow.
“Training has been rather funny this week as all of a sudden there has been an influx of a few players who haven’t trained for several weeks due to injury and all of a sudden the enthusiasm and energy has just been through the roof.
“It will no doubt be the same tonight with guys keen to impress ahead of the return of the Premiership,” added Barrow.
You can read more from Barrow in this Friday’s match day programme.
Tickets are still available for the game by calling the Falcons Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or click here to purchase online.