High stakes for Friday's northern 'derby'

Tuesday 10 April 2018

The stakes could barely be higher this Friday at Kingston Park Stadium, where Newcastle Falcons host Sale Sharks in the Aviva Premiership's all-northern clash.

Newcastle and Sale are both very much in the hunt for the Premiership semi-finals, the Falcons sat in fifth place with Sale just a point behind them in sixth.

The Sharks are in fine form following their last-minute win over Wasps last weekend, while the Falcons are unbeaten at Kingston Park Stadium since November in all competitions.

Newcastle chiselled out a 13-12 victory when the two teams last met at AJ Bell Stadium back in October, but Falcons boss Dean Richards knows his team will have a game on their hands on Friday.

"Sale are an outstanding side and Steve Diamond has done a great job in putting that squad together," said the director of rugby.

"They have enjoyed some very positive results over the course of the season and are a side who demand a lot of respect. I'm sure they would say the same about us, and from a regional perspective it's great to see two teams from the north of England making such a mark."

Richards added: "Friday's game has a huge amount riding on it in terms of qualification for the Premiership semi-finals or securing Champions Cup rugby for next season. It really is a massive 80 minutes and it should be a cracking atmosphere at Kingston Park.

"The players really enjoy the floodlit games and it certainly seems to get the crowd going when we play here on a Friday. The supporters up here have been absolutely tremendous with us this season, and I'm sure that will be the case again."

Tickets for Friday's 7.45pm kick-off against Sale Sharks are available by clicking here or calling 0871 226 6060.

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