Newcastle Falcons have been benefiting from the input of rugby league team Wigan Warriors as they prepare for Sunday’s visit of Aviva Premiership champions Exeter Chiefs.
The Super League outfit have been on a three-day pre-season training camp at Kingston Park where they have been sharing facilities and ideas with the Falcons and their rugby league stable-mates, Newcastle Thunder.
Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards (pictured) revealed the initiative is not the first time Newcastle have hosted teams from the 13-man code, saying: “We’ve had a couple of Super League clubs come and train up here this year, and it’s always interesting.
“Castleford Tigers came up earlier in the year when they’d just won the League Leader’s Shield, and this week we have had Wigan Warriors here for three days.
“They’ve trained on our pitches, in our gym, their coaches took our players for a session earlier in the week and our coaching team have enjoyed tapping into their knowledge base during their stay.”
Having enjoyed the input from the Challenge Cup finalists, Richards added: “It’s always interesting when you have a cross-pollination of ideas, and I’m a big rugby league fan. I love watching it and there are definitely bits and pieces you can pick up from the game.
“People will say they’re two very different codes, and rightly so, but you can certainly carry elements from one to the other. We’ve found it interesting listening to their philosophy on certain things, how they go about their training, and hopefully they’ve also taken on board parts of what we do ourselves.
“I’m not too sure they will have learned much from our line-out, mauling and scrummaging but it has been very useful having them here, and we always enjoy those kinds of situations.”
Lock-forward Calum Green echoed the positive noises ahead of Sunday’s visit of Exeter, saying: “Wigan are a top rugby league team and have been for many decades, so it’s good to see how they go about their work.
“For my own position in the second row there might not be too many direct similarities but the sports in general do have a lot in common, and you can always learn new things.
“Attitude and culture are so important in team sports, and it has been interesting seeing how they run things on that side. If you can take little bits and add them to your own preparation it gives you a new perspective, so from that side it has been great.”
Tickets for Sunday’s visit of Exeter are available by calling 0871 226 6060 or clicking here.