Scrum half Andy Davies is keen to make an impression following his recall to Kingston Park.
After spending the first half of the 2014-15 term building his name in the Championship, Scrum Half Andy Davies is now looking to take his chances on the European and LV= Cup stages after a recall to the North East.
And with this weekend’s pool 3 fixture against Bucharest Wolves a must-win if the Falcons are to progress in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, Davies recognises there has never been a better time for the Falcons’ younger players to step up to the mark.
“We need five points and there are no bones about it, so especially after last weekend we just need to put in a good performance.
“It’s a great opportunity in a great competition, and I like how the coaches have been using the younger lads to push on. It means that we’re pushing the first team players which is exactly what they want.
“And you can see that from the boys that have already come through the cup competitions this season and then started to get game time in the Premiership as a result.”
One of four dual registered with Rotherham Titans at the start of this season Davies, 23, was originally called back to Kingston Park for the opening round of the European Rugby Challenge Cup in October, but returned on a more permanent basis at the start of the year following an injury to fellow Scrum Half Warren Fury.
“At Rotherham there was massive competition at nine because there were three of us at the same level as it were. I missed out on a couple of games early on in pre-season and didn’t get a lot of game time to start with, but I worked my way back in and was back almost to first choice when I was called back up.
“Being down at Rotherham has helped us a lot and I really enjoy it – it’s a great set up down there. But obviously being back up here at a higher level and surrounded by the players we are helps greatly too.
“I think I’ll be up here for the rest of the season now so obviously these games are the ones where you need to prove yourself and hopefully just take your chances and show what you can do.”
Born in the North West of England and originally signed to the Sale Sharks Academy, Davies headed East to study Biomedical Sciences at Newcastle University at the age of 18. While at university Davies was spotted by National League One side Blaydon RFC and their head coach, Newcastle Falcons’ Micky Ward.
“Micky is one of the best coaches I’ve worked with in terms of how well he gets on with the lads and the insight he has into the game. The other coaches at Blaydon are great too and playing there really brought on my game. “
After completing his degree last summer Davies signed a full-time contract with Newcastle Falcons Senior Academy.
“It’s an exciting time to be at the club. The shackles have been let loose a bit in terms of how the lads are being set out to play, the fans are coming back and we seem to be on TV almost every week, so it’s all really good.
“In terms of the rugby the club is playing now the role of the Scrum Half has definitely changed. I was speaking to Mike Blair about it too and he was saying that compared to last season he’s going a lot wider and running a lot further, and a lot of that is down to the way Dave has us playing, so I think we’re covering a lot of ground this year.”
The Falcons will be hoping that their new brand of rugby pays big dividends this weekend in their all-important final pool game against Bucharest Wolves in Romania and Davies, like everyone else at the club, is under no illusions of what needs to be done.
“We always want a win, and we’ve talked about the conditions too and how the team can play to those to give us out best shot, but obviously what we need is a bonus point win, so that’s the main goal.”