Calum Green speaks of the Falcons’ aim to capitalise on current momentum ahead of Sunday’s Aviva Premiership clash with Saracens.
While many may have complained about conditions at last weekend’s Aviva Premiership fixture away to Sale Sharks, Newcastle Falcons’ Calum Green was quietly comfortable with a physical game of rugby on a wet and windy afternoon.
The Lock explains: “I enjoyed the Sale game because it was a bit of a physical challenge. It was an old school rugby match and while they weren’t really the best conditions it was enjoyable to play in.
“Those sorts of games are probably dying out a bit in the Premiership now because the stadiums are so good and the pitches are second to none. A player like myself misses them but for some of the athletes we have on the team I’m sure they’re quite pleased because they much prefer the faster running game!”
A regular name on the Falcons team sheet since joining from Championship side Leeds Carnegie at the start of last season, this Sunday will see Green pair up with Academy graduate Sean Robinson in the second row for a third consecutive week.
“I think people seem to see us as a good, balanced partnership there. To be honest all of the second rows we have here are really good, and we’ve got some really good young players coming through the ranks too like Witty and Chugga (Glen Young).
“Robbo has come through the academy and done really well. He’s always been a great talent and over the last few weeks he’s stepped up and delivered the goods, so hopefully that continues.
“It forces players like myself and Mo to push on as well and keeps us on our toes, which is a really good thing for the club.”
Both still only 24, Green and Robinson are amongst a growing group of youthful forwards making a name for themselves at Kingston Park Stadium. Does it help the club to so many younger players at its core?
“We all get on well right across the squad regardless of age really; we’ve got a good group and everyone tries to help one another out and give each other pointers, which is good to be a part of.”
Anyone around Newcastle Falcons over recent weeks will tell you there has been a definite buzz around the place after a run of results that have seen the Falcons gain second place position in their European Rugby Challenge Cup pool after the first run of fixtures and record a vital Aviva Premiership draw on the road to Sale last weekend. But how has the season so far felt for those at the heart of the club?
Green comments: “This season didn’t start off too well but Europe was the opportunity for us to freshen things up a bit, and we got some good momentum which we took into the Sale game last weekend.
“We probably should’ve won that game at the end there to be honest but it was a good performance and a good result.
“There’s a good buzz around the place now; Europe was a good opportunity to bring some new boys in and give them a go, and they brought a lot of energy in. Then the A League has been great as well.
“It’s just good to have that winning mentality again. Once you win a few games, whatever competition they’re in, it breeds a good culture at the club and hopefully we can take that forward into this weekend.”
With the current league leaders due to arrive at Kingston Park Stadium today, the Falcons team are more than prepared for a challenge during tomorrow’s match, but remain undeterred as they look to go one better than the agonisingly close two point defeat which befell them in the same fixture last season.
“Saracens are one of the better teams in Europe at the moment so we know we have to raise our game to try and beat them. Last season we came really close and after that we played so many games that went the same way.
“This year one of our aims is to turn those close games into wins, so hopefully – especially here at home – we can put out a good performance.
“We know what we’re capable of within the squad, it’s just delivering those results on the pitch. For us it doesn’t matter what other people outside of the club and our fans.
“If we can deliver those results over the next few weeks against tough opposition, it will do justice to us and to those fans.”
Sunday's game against Saracens kicks off at 3pm at Kingston Park Stadium. Tickets for the match are on sale now starting from £15 for adults and £7.50 for juniors, and can be purchased online, in person from the Falcons' Box Office or by calling the club's 24 hour Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060.