Last week’s man-of-the-match George McGuigan is itching to continue his fine form and stake his claim to the No.2 jersey ahead of this Sunday’s LV= Cup trip to high-flyers Saracens.
McGuigan, 20, who hails from Richmond, North Yorkshire, is ready to take his chance when Dean Richards’ young guns lock horns with the North London club at Allianz Park.
And the Ireland Under-20s hooker admits he’s been awarded more game time than he expected this campaign.
“I’m grateful to Dean for giving me a chance in the senior set-up, and it has really aided my development at the club,” said McGuigan, who qualifies for Ireland by virtue of his parents.
“I really enjoyed my last outing against Brive at Kingston Park, and I was pleased with my overall performance but I’m now keen to kick-on and test myself in the Premiership, and thankfully I’ve been given my chance on a series of occasions,” he added.
With Scotland calling up the experienced Scott Lawson to their training squad this week in the build-up to the Six Nations, McGuigan reveals working with the Lanark-born hit-man has enhanced his game.
He said: “Scott is a superb hooker and has given me a lot of words of wisdom which is always nice to receive when you’re a young lad coming through.
“I’m pleased that he’s been called into the Scotland set-up and I’m sure he will do a good job for them. It’s been nice for me to give him a bit of competition in recent weeks but he’s an experienced head that the club will require going into the back end of the season.”
Newcastle Falcons go into this weekend’s showdown on the back of a comfortable 28-0 victory at home to Bucharest Wolves in the Amlin Challenge Cup. McGuigan acknowledges that Sarries, despite playing an exhibition match the previous day, will be a tough proposition for his side.
“I played against Saracens at their place earlier in the season, albeit I got 20 minutes as a replacement,” said McGuigan.
He added: “I came on just as Saracens were starting to turn it on with their slick passing in the backline. I suppose you could say it was a bit of a lesson after getting beat 40-3 but it’s another learning curve that you can take heed from.”