Will Haydon-Wood believes Newcastle Falcons’ supporters could be the difference when Exeter Chiefs come to Kingston Park Stadium on Sunday.
The 3pm kick-off sees the Falcons looking to record a Gallagher Premiership home-and-away double, having won by a single point down in Devon in November, and the fly-half says the home crowd are a major weapon in his side’s armoury.
“In terms of what is ahead of us against Exeter, you know you’re always going to get a big physical pack, and they’re a bit of a powerhouse,” said the 21-year-old fly-half, who has made 12 first-team appearances and kicked all of his goals in the Falcons’ last game at Bristol.
“We showed by beating them down there in November that we can match them or even better them in that aspect, and with a good home crowd behind us I just think that could be the difference.”
The academy graduate has had a more central role this season, taking his appearance tally up to 12, and is relishing the increased opportunities.
Speaking in Sunday’s match programme, he said: “I’ve loved this season, because I’ve been able to have a few more involvements.
“I’ve been in and around a lot of the Premiership games, I’ve made some starts, and I’ve loved every minute of it. Bath away was my first start, which I was nervous for, but we managed to get the win, and then games like Bristol away two weeks ago was a great experience, even though we ultimately lost.
“As a team we showed a good bit of heart and fight, and we just needed that extra couple of per cent to turn them over. They obviously had a lot of their superstars out there but we still did some good things, and we can definitely build on that.”
To read the full interview, in which Haydon-Wood talks extensively about his rugby journey, check out our free digital match programme later in the week.
Click here to buy tickets for Sunday’s game.