Dean Richards believes his Newcastle Falcons troops will grow from their experience of Saturday’s Aviva Premiership defeat at Leicester Tigers.
The Falcons went down 31-6 to the Tigers in front of just under 20,000 spectators at Welford Road, and with a number of youngsters going toe to toe with the likes of Manu Tuilagi, Toby Flood and Thomas Waldrom, Richards was buoyant in his post-match press conference.
"We came here with a lot of young boys who did not have the experience that Leicester have" he said.
He added: “If you look at their starting line-up and their bench, it’s not bad is it? We came here with no worries and there were positives to come out of it.
“Players like Dom Barrow, Scott Wilson, Joel Hodgson, Will Welch and Mark Wilson have played a reasonable amount of rugby but no always at this level. You could not go anywhere else other than here to gain that experience – it’s fantastic.”
With limited attacking opportunities the Falcons managed to muster a couple clean breaks in the shape of Barrow and scrum-half Warren Fury. In the closing stages the TMO also chalked off an Alex Crockett score after Tuilagi was deemed to have palmed the ball dead.
Richards said: “I’d still have liked the score line to have been reversed and in time it will be. We just need to work on how to do it.
“We made four clean breaks in the first-half and didn’t nail them. If you make four clean breaks at Leicester you have to nail them. Had we scored one or two it might have been different, but going in at half-time 17-6 down was probably a bit too far away for us, especially with what they had coming off the bench.”
Newcastle host Gloucester next Sunday in the Aviva Premiership with tickets still available by calling the Falcons Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or click here to purchase online.