Lock-forward Sean Robinson is celebrating the signing of a new contract extension as Newcastle Falcons prepare for Friday’s European Challenge Cup quarter-final at home to Brive.
The 27-year-old has made 59 competitive appearances for the Falcons, 40 of those in the Aviva Premiership, the last of which came when he started Saturday’s 25-22 triumph over Northampton Saints in front of a club record crowd of 30,174 at St James’ Park.
The Durham University graduate said: “I’m delighted to have agreed another two years with the club, it really feels like we are going places and it’s a great environment to be part of.
“We’re in the top four of the Premiership, in the quarter-finals in Europe and building well for the future, so it was an easy decision in terms of where I saw myself being.”
Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards was similarly delighted to have tied up the new deal, saying: “Sean is an incredibly bright player with a strong understanding of the game.
“He has already come a long way, but over the next year or two I really see Sean developing further and going on to higher honours. I rate him that highly, and it’s great news for the club that he will be here to be part of our future plans.”
Turning his attention to Friday’s 8pm kick-off against French club Brive as the Falcons battle for a place in a European semi-final, Robinson said: “Brive will be a tough nut to crack.
“I know they’re down near the bottom of the Top 14 but they had a vital win last weekend, and if you look at their scores over a period of time they’re not too far away in games. They’re losing by two or three points on a lot of occasions, they’re not a side who roll over and like any French team they’ll offer a physical challenge with some big ball carriers.”
Giving little credence to the old theory that French teams are a soft touch away from home, Robinson said: “This whole thing about the French not travelling is a bit of a myth these days, and they’ve really come along in that sense.
“They’ve had an influx of international players and coaches, they’ve moved away from that stereotype of not turning up away from home and it’s definitely going to be a challenge for us. We’re expecting them to travel well, things have moved on from how they used to be with the French and it’ll definitely be a tough test.
“When you play against French teams you sometimes have to adjust your tackle height, get off the line quickly and tackle low, and just try to stop their momentum. That’s what they’re looking for, to generate a bit of quick ball through their big carriers, and once they’re in behind they can play a bit. It’s always hard as a defence, and the front five boys have a massive role to play in nullifying some of their carriers.”
Hoping to continue the feelgood factor generated by last weekend’s St James’ Park showpiece, the lock-forward added: “The atmosphere and the occasion was incredible, and as players we felt privileged to have been part of something like that.
“We’d like to thank everyone who put in the effort to organise the day, as well as everyone who turned up to watch, and hopefully we can win a few of them over to come down and see us playing at Kingston Park in the future.
“It has been a pretty short turnaround so we’ve had to be really sharp in terms of getting in our preparation work, doing some of it away from the field and making sure we’re really fresh when we come in for game day.
“There was a great buzz after last weekend, and hopefully we can carry that energy through to Friday night. A home quarter-final is a great challenge and a statement of where we’re going as a club, and everyone’s excited to get back out there at Kingston Park.”
Tickets for Friday’s 8pm kick-off are available by clicking here. Season ticket members are reminded that this game is not included as part of their package.