Calum Green is determined to finish his Newcastle Falcons career on a high over the next two games, starting with Saturday’s trip to Gloucester.
The Leicester-bound lock is set to depart after five seasons on Tyneside, but is keen to bow out on a positive as he and his fellow Falcons aim to climb from the foot of the Gallagher Premiership table with two games remaining.
“I wish I could have finished on a better note here in terms of how the season as a whole has gone, but I’ve had a great time at the club and some of my best mates are here,” said Green.
“Newcastle is a club that I’m always going to support, and I’m sure when I retire I’ll come back up and watch a few games. I’ve only got good memories and good things to say about the club, the players, the coaches and all the staff here.
“It goes without saying that I’d like to have finished higher up the league table in my last season here, but that’s professional sport.
“I wasn’t looking to leave, especially, but the situation just came about in terms of Leicester showing interest, and it’s a club I feel close to after coming through their academy. That’s the only reason I’m going and it’s no reflection on Newcastle, because I love it here.”
Sharing the collective disappointment at back-to-back home losses, Green said: “We thought Leicester and Northampton were both games that we could have won, and in the past we’ve done quite well against them. So yeah, it’s disappointing, especially the way in which we started both games.
“We came in at half-time against Northampton more than 20 points down, and it’s just not good enough from us. Even though we came back into it, if you give any team a 20-point start in this league they’re going to end up winning most times.
“The second half was by and large good, it was a positive for us but it was just too late.”
Still retaining hope of pulling off their great escape, Green said: “It’s going to be difficult but we’re not done yet, and we’ll keep on fighting right until the end.
“Everyone is obviously disappointed by our position. When you look back over the season we’ve had a number of games which we should have won, but we’ve not been good enough.
“It’s frustrating but we take responsibility for that, and we’ve now just got to chuck everything into these last two games. What happens from there is outside of our control to an extent, so all we can do it take care of our own games.
“It’s not nice to be down there, I much preferred last season to this because we were pushing for top four but you’ve just got to get on with it.
"We’re certainly not giving up, we want to finish these last two games with a bang and that’s definitely the mind-set here.”