Falcons Director of Rugby Dean Richards speaks of his side’s two latest arrivals; Andy Goode and Jamie Booth.
After signing with Newcastle Falcons early last week, Fly Half Andy Goode and Scrum Half Jamie Booth both made their first appearances in a Falcons shirt during Monday’s A League win over Leicester Tigers A.
The man instrumental in bringing both players to the club was Dean Richards, the Director of Rugby having previously worked with Goode during his time at fellow Aviva Premiership side Leicester Tigers.
“Goodey left Leicester for Saracens when I was in my last year with them which was a bit of a bold move,” Richards explained. “He’s a quality footballer and I think maybe at that time the move was the wrong one for him because he needed to stay somewhere where he was going to play on a regular basis and probably didn’t get the football that he wanted there.”
However, the two retained a close relationship. “I get on really well with Andy. I like him and I like his character. A lot of people talk about him as a challenging person but everybody has their little foibles and quirks, and if you accept those and work with him he’s also a quality player and I like his little quirks.
“Andy is a good guy and he hasn’t come up here just to sit on the bench, he wants to make a claim from a rugby point of view and make his mark. One of the big question marks he had about coming out of retirement was that he wanted to make something happen; he doesn’t want to sit back and let it drift by, he wants to come in and make an impact.”
And although Goode hopes to make an impact on the pitch, he is also keen to work with the Falcons’ young Fly Halves such as Craig Willis and Tom Catterick.
“We brought Andy in because we’re short of numbers and he will feature at some stage, but we hold high hopes for Craig and TC.
“Over the last few weeks Craig has earned the right to play through his performances and we’re really pleased for him so we’re looking to give him as much experience as we can, and Andy will help with that too.
“When I initially spoke to Andy about coming in he mentioned how highly he rated the two younger boys and said that if he can pass the experience he has onto those boys during his time here, even if he doesn’t start he’d be happy with that. However if he starts he’s going for everything so either way hopefully it’ll be a win-win for us, if he can impart some of his experience onto the younger boys I’ll be delighted.”
Another youngster looking to gain experience during his time with the Falcons is 21 year old Scrum Half Jamie Booth, who arrived in the North East from New Zealand just over two weeks ago.
When asked to describe his second new signing of 2016, Richards commented: “Jamie will challenge the edges and he’s got good core skills. He’s got a bit of the ginger temperament in him which I quite like, and we’re hopeful that he’ll get a reasonable amount of game time.
“Of course we’re looking forward to getting Ruki (Tipuna) back because he understands our play more than most, but Jamie’s a good boy who will be out there and hopefully get a reasonable amount of opportunities in his time with us.
“We have three quality Scrum Halves in the squad and a really good youngster in Ruaridh Dawson, but we’re giving Jamie an opportunity and having a close look at him so we’ll see how Jamie gets on. I’m looking forward to seeing how he goes.”