Egerton primed for Lyon trip

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Sam Egerton insists Newcastle Falcons are looking to carry their Aviva Premiership form into the European Challenge Cup, despite a number of fresh faces expected to be selected for Friday’s trip to Lyon.

The scrum-half is among a host of players set to be drafted in for the 7.30pm kick-off at Matmut Stadium, Newcastle and Lyon currently tied on five points behind group leaders Ospreys after two of the six rounds.

Egerton, the Oxford University graduate who joined Newcastle in the summer from England Sevens, said: “The Premiership has gone well the past couple of weeks, but we have to kick on in Europe.

“This is a new opportunity for us, it is something different and we want to follow in the steps of the guys who have done so well in the league.

“The feeling round the club is great at the moment. We are hitting our targets so far, everyone seems happy and we are just looking forward to our games. The boys have been playing some outstanding rugby, we hope the crowds will keep coming back and we are really targeting sixth place in the Premiership now.

“It’s not just a case of trying to avoid relegation, our supporters seem to be responding to what the team are doing and it’s just exciting being involved with the club at this time.”

Relishing the opportunity to head to Lyon, Egerton said: “It is a good chance to get away and play some nice, flowing, attacking rugby, and enjoy ourselves.

“There are a lot of guys like myself who are grabbing the chance to get some game time. We have had a lot of injuries during the season and already shown that we have good depth. A lot of players have had opportunities, taken them and done well, and Friday night is another chance for us to demonstrate that depth. When the call comes, guys are ready and able, which is what we want to show.”

With Lyon engaged in a fight for domestic top-flight survival the scrum-half is aware their focus may lie in other competitions, not that he is underestimating the threat of a team who thumped Grenoble in the opening round.

Egerton said: “Lyon will obviously want to put in a good performance for their fans, even if their focus might be predominantly on staying in the Top 14.

“They will have a strong set piece whichever personnel they go with, they will be direct up front and look from there to throw it around in behind. It could get loose in that typical French way, but we are ready to meet that challenge and move them around. We need to front up, first and foremost, and from there we will look to play.

“I have played for England Sevens over in France and a couple of university fixtures, but nothing at this level. I’m looking forward to the crowd, experiencing some French 15s and the ‘jouez’ rugby that everyone talks about. I know it’s stereotypical, but hopefully we can match that and come away with a result.”

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