Jamie Helleur admits he was delighted to be handed his first start of the season in Saturday’s 53-13 triumph over Moseley in the RFU Championship.
The Samoan centre, 28, pulled on the number-13 jersey after impressing Falcons boss Dean Richards during a series of Aviva A League outings.
And Helleur, who partnered fellow Pacific Islander Tane Tu’ipulotu at the heart of the northeasterners’ backline, insists he now needs to work on his attacking game despite helping his side score seven tries to make it six wins from six in the league.
“Everyone knows that my defence is pretty solid but I now need to step up to the plate in attack,” said Helleur.
“I was really excited to get my chance, and I was probably too excited to be honest. Tane was punching through some great holes and I was running off his shoulder – it was a good day for running rugby.
“The A League games have got me in really good shape, and now I’m ready to fight for my place in the team,” he added.
The West Midlands club put up a dogged fight in the first period which saw the Falcons go into the break 20-6 in front.
But the Falcons went into predatory mode after the interval to rack up seven tries to underline their credentials as title challengers.
Helleur said: “Moseley put the pressure on us in the first-half like most teams do in the Championship.
“If you can keep your game controlled and keep the opposition at bay and not concede points, then there is every chance that you can breakaway in the second-half.”
Now all eyes turn to the British and Irish Cup which sees the Falcons open up their campaign at home to Cross Keys.
Helleur is keen to pull out all the stops for a starting berth this weekend, saying: “Just keep me going – whatever game time that I can get is great.
“It is up to me to keep performing in training and hopefully I can get my chance.”
Tickets for the Cross Keys match are available by calling the Falcons Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or click here to purchase online.