Falcons Director of Rugby happy to hand out opportunities as European rugby returns.
A return to European action sees a significantly overhauled Falcons team take to the field against Connacht Rugby this evening, with Director of Rugby Dean Richards excited about affording new opportunities to his squad.
The side named to face Pat Lam’s side in Galway sees a combination of experienced heads and raw talent that the Falcons boss is keen to see continue in the positive vein they have started the Challenge Cup.
“We’re putting out a very ambitious side and offering them a great opportunity to perform on a big stage against one of the form sides in Europe.”
“The boys have done well so far in Europe. We took a point from the trip to Brive and we played really well against Enisei with the whole team combining well to score the tries that we did.”
“Our backline is young, but it has really exciting ability. On the wings for instance, you have Dan Marshall, who has looked very good in things like the Premiership 7s, the Kings of the North and going up against the Georgian national team in the summer.
“Zach on the other wing is coming back to full fitness and has been a real threat in his last few games, TP and Charris [Tom Penny and Chris Harris] worked really well as a pair in the last round of games and Craig Willis is again someone who has been doing very well this season.”
“In the pack, we have some invaluable experience with four full internationals and some incredibly hungry players like Alex, Daniel and Will. Richard [Mayhew] has also been doing a great job recently, putting his hand up and pushing forward and I’m looking forward to seeing him as captain this evening.”
“What really pleases me about this side and the job that the players in our European squad are doing is how it rises to challenges. We have people like Scott Wilson and Mike Delany out but you have some incredibly talented people ready to step in and make a real go of the opportunity.”
“You’ve seen a great example of that in the Premiership with Sean Robinson, who has stepped into the breach we have with Josh Furno and Kane Thompson being unavailable and done a really incredible job.”
“These two games against Connacht will give us a great test, but if this group of players rise to it as we know they can, then they can help the club take a massive step towards the knock out stages of the competition.”