Andy Davies is looking to play a key part at the centre of the Falcons' team in tonight's Premiership Rugby 7s competition.
Making his second appearance in the Premiership Rugby 7s Series, Andy Davies is expecting a series of fast-paced and highly skilled games in tonight's group D event at Darlington's Northern Echo Arena.
And the scrum half is hoping he can put everything he's learned throughout his rugby career so far into practice to play an important role for the Falcons' team in the competition.
Speaking ahead of the event, which will see Newcastle Falcons take on teams from Leicester Tigers, Sale Sharks and London Welsh, Davies said: "Positions in 7 are quite changeable so there’ll be a lot of open play and we'll be moving around a lot. But for me I’m trying to be the link man in the middle, spread the ball about a bit and get it out to the quick men."
Originally brought up in the Rugby League heartland of Lancashire, Davies played scrum half for both league side Warrington Wolves and tonight's opponents Sale Sharks until the age of 18 when he moved north to further his studies.
Whilst studying Biomedical Sciences at Newcastle University, the 22-year old continued to play rugby both as part of the Falcons Academy and on dual registration with National League One side Blaydon RFC.
After completing his degree earlier this summer, Davies signed his first full-time professional rugby contract, although he admits that the change from student to full time sportsman has been an interesting one.
"Going from the student lifestyle where you're a bit of a slob and having lots of late nights to coming in here where you're up early and in the gym everyday is probably the biggest lifestyle change you could have, so it took a while to get used to, but it's been great."
Tipped as one to watch by Academy head coach Mark Laycock, Davies will continue to be dual registered for the season ahead as one of four Falcons Senior Academy members playing at Championship side Rotherham Titans.
"Originally I was going to stay up in Newcastle for the season ahead and trying to learn as much as I can from the guys we have up here; with Mike Blair, Warren Fury and now Ruki Tipuna there's so much experience at the club.
"Then Rotherham came in and said that they needed another scrum half, and the coaches felt it was a good chance for me to get some high level rugby experience and hopefully play a bit in the Championship, which can only improve me."
However he confesses that Rotherham's pre-season training has been something of an eye-opener; " Rotherham are looking to play a really fast-tempo game this season so there's been so much running! It was a bit of a shock to the system, but obviously I'm hoping the massive amounts of running I've been doing there will help us in the 7s."
A veteran of last year's Premiership Rugby 7s competition, which saw the Falcons make it through to the series finals for the third time in four years, Davies is says there is a positive buzz around the camp ahead of their group stage event on home turf this evening.
"After these last few days the boys are really looking forward to the 7s. Last year was absolutely amazing, there was a big crowd down at Franklin's Gardens and with the big stadium we're playing at in Darlington it should be awesome.
Group D of the Premiership Rugby 7s will be played at Darlington's Northern Echo Arena tonight, Saturday 2nd August, with the first game kicking off at 7.15pm. Tickets will be available from the turnstiles (cash only) or from the Arena's West Stand ticket office (cards also accepted) until kick-off priced at only £10 for adults and £5 for juniors. For more information please click here.