Recently retired Carlo del Fava admits he found it difficult to watch his side take to the field against Northampton Saints last weekend.
Del Fava, 32, who has been working as a pundit for the BBC during their coverage of the Six Nations this year, watched Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park for the first time since calling time on his career due to a neck injury.
“I was actually doing radio commentary for BBC Radio Newcastle, and because you’re sitting in a great position up in the Press Box you’re able to see absolutely everything and hear the calls in the warm-up which made my heart sink that I wasn’t involved,” said the 54-times capped Italian international.
A losing bonus-point against Saints was the Falcons’ second point in as many weeks following the trip to Harlequins the previous weekend. Leicester Tigers are the visitors to Kingston Park this Sunday (kick-off 2pm), and del Fava believes the Falcons can get a result when the reigning Aviva Premiership champions come to town.
“I think we can do very well this weekend and the fact that we gave them a run for their money in parts during the game at Welford Road earlier on in the season bodes well,” said del Fava.
“If the boys can take the spirit and desire shown against Saints and Quins then we have a fantastic chance, and I’m really looking forward to the game,” he added.
Making the switch to Kingston Park in the summer of 2012, del Fava was the cornerstone of a dominant Newcastle pack as they secured promotion back to the Aviva Premiership at the first time of asking. Recalling that famous night when he and his teammates celebrated their title win, the towering lock said: “The Championship winning night has got to be one of the highlights of my career just because our promotion wasn’t guaranteed right up until the play-off final second leg against Bedford Blues. The first leg away at Bedford went well and the second leg was such a great experience – when the whistle went for full-time we actually realised what we had achieved in getting back to the Premiership, and there was a great sense of achievement.”
You can read more of what del Fava has to say about his plans for the future, the Falcons prospects for the remainder of the season and so much more in this Sunday’s match day programme.
Tickets are still available for the Leicester game by calling 0871 226 6060 or click here to purchase online.