Fly-half Rory Clegg admits he needs a good pre-season under his belt in order to put himself in the reckoning for a regular starting berth.
The 24-year-old, who swapped the Twickenham Stoop for Kingston Park at the start of last season, has had to battle it out with fellow No.10 Phil Godman for the coveted spot. And with the addition of Argentina international Juan Pablo Socino to the ranks, Clegg is relishing the competition for places.
“From a personal point of view it was a disappointing season and I didn’t perform anywhere near where I think I should be, and that probably showed through selection,” said Clegg.
“I didn’t play as much as I wanted to, but that was due to me not performing as well as I could have. However, I’m really optimistic about the coming season and I’m excited at the prospect of making that No.10 shirt my own – in order to do that I need to make sure that I’m consistent with my performances.
“Hopefully with all the new signings that have come in it will benefit my game,” he added.
Dean Richards has been busy in the recruitment market, luring a smattering of talent to Kingston Park this summer eager to put a frustrating season behind him.
Clegg has been impressed with the ambition shown by the Falcons of late, despite the club being at the high end of the Premiership table during his first spell on Tyneside.
He said: “Everyone has now parked last season because it was good that we stayed up and that is exactly what we wanted to achieve. Our attacking game wasn’t quite where we wanted it to be and we weren’t scoring as many tries which was hard to take.
“That said, the boys have come back from their time off buzzing and can’t wait to get stuck in. All the players can see the club’s ambitions, and with the signings that we have made and the new coaching structure everything is on the up at the moment.”