Scotland international Scott Lawson believes the competition for places is driving the club on ahead of the festive season.
The Falcons travel to Exeter Chiefs this weekend for the first of three crucial Aviva Premiership clashes in the space of a fortnight.
And the 32-year-old admits a string of youngsters have laid down the gauntlet to their fellow teammates in the build-up to the hectic Christmas schedule.
“It’s nice to see the younger members of the squad stepping up to the mark in recent weeks, and I’m sure they will have their eye on some game time in the next two weeks,” said Lawson,
“The likes of George McGuigan and Scott Wilson have played exceptionally well in the front-row, and that level of competition keeps me on my toes.
“Elsewhere you’ve got Zach Kibirige playing out of his skin, so there is competition across the board. It’s great as a squad to see that competition as it drives you on as an organisation,” he added.
Lawson featured in both matches with Cammi Rugby Calvisano, coming on as a replacement in the home fixture before starting the away. Winning both contests by a considerable margin, the 38-times capped Scot is hoping to take this form into the domestic scene.
“We put in two solid performances against the Italians, and I thought last week’s trip to Calvisano was a job well done,” said Lawson.
He added: “At the moment we are been given the licence to throw the ball around and express ourselves. Hopefully we can take this form into these next run of games.”
Jetting down to Exeter by plane tomorrow morning, Falcons boss Dean Richards has ensured a comfortable journey for his men with the back-to-back home fixtures with London Wasps and Sale Sharks looming large.
Taking on a Chiefs side that has been the benchmark for any newly-promoted club in recent years, Lawson said: “Exeter have shown in the last few years that they are a formidable Premiership outfit, and one that we are trying to aspire to emulate.
“They are now qualifying for the Heineken Cup which is a fantastic feat given they were in the Championship only a few years ago.
“We know it’s going to be an extremely tough game down there especially in front of a hostile crowd at Sandy Park, but we are looking forward to the challenge and I can’t wait to get stuck in.”
Tickets are still available for the Falcons’ next home Aviva Premiership encounter with London Wasps on Friday 27 December by calling the Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or click here to purchase online (kick-off 7.45pm).