Nick Reynolds is ready to take his Newcastle Falcons chance after being lined up for his debut in Saturday's Anglo-Welsh Cup clash with Bath at Kingston Park Stadium (kick-off 3pm).
The centre was a mid-season signing from London Welsh as the Falcons looked to cover themselves against an injury crisis, although the former Scarlets man has had to bide his time for a senior opportunity.
Determined not to let the moment pass him by, Reynolds said: “I can’t wait.
"I’ve had a little while now to train, and watch how other players in my position run the moves and do their roles. I’ve been knocking on the door for a while, but luckily now this Anglo Welsh Cup has given me a chance to play. It’s good for me because during the European competition and the Anglo-Welsh they do mix and match teams, and give the first-choice boys a break. It’s good for me to show what I can do.”
Impressed by what he has seen upon his arrival at Kingston Park, he added: “Looking from the outside everyone looks at Newcastle and thinks they might sneak a couple of wins, but now I’m inside the camp and seeing how hard everyone’s working, how hard the coaches are working, it’s not really a surprise to see Newcastle beating these other teams and being where they are in the league. I know how skilful the players are, and that’s really shown in the league position.
“They’re trying to play an attractive brand of rugby and Dave (Walder) is leading the charge with that. They have the players to play that expansive game but also muscle up and play a tight game as well, which is why they’re doing so well, really.
“There are a couple of the boys here I knew from when I was at London Welsh – Opeti (Fonua) and Tai (Taione Vea), who’s still knocking around the club but unfortunately not playing any more. I got to know everyone and had a couple of weeks where I got to know all the boys, and they’ve all welcomed me. I appreciate that. I’m looking forward to actually playing now and calling them team-mates.”
Hopeful of an entertaining game on a good pitch following the early abandonment of last week’s 18-6 victory at Newport Gwent Dragons, Reynolds said: “I was hoping I would get my chance during one of the Anglo Welsh games. With hindsight, I think I’ve had the lucky one.
“I’ve lived in Wales for a while and those Newport boys would have loved that last week. Luckily I’ve had probably had the better draw of games personally to show what I can do. Luckily for me being a back it’s a nice pitch up here. In the Championship you go to a couple of grounds were there’s no chance of that, but we’re playing on a great surface and I’m thankful to Newcastle for the opportunity.”
Newcastle defeated Bath at Kingston Park in the Aviva Premiership meeting between the two clubs a month ago, Reynolds stating: “When Bath came up here a couple of weeks ago they liked to throw the ball around, especially with no qualification on this game.
“You’d probably think they’re going to play an attractive brand of rugby, maybe they’ll try a couple of things leading up to the league games with certain combinations or moves. For us we’re trying to play rugby, so it should be a good game.”
Saturday’s game forms part of a triple header of action at Kingston Park Stadium, starting with a university match between Durham Colleges and Newcastle Intra-Mural at 11.30am. Newcastle Falcons v Bath follows at 3pm, with the Falcons Under-18s hosting Worcester Warriors Under-18s on the main field at 5.30pm.
The stadium bars will also be showing the England v France game at 4.50pm, with free curry in the 1877 Bar at around 5pm and again after full-time in the England match.
Season ticket members are reminded that Saturday is included in their season ticket package. Non-season ticket members can book their place by calling 0871 226 6060, clicking here or visiting the stadium in person.