Andy Saull is raring to go ahead of this Friday’s Aviva Premiership opener with Bath Rugby at Kingston Park (kick-off 7.45pm).
The 24-year-old flanker, who joined Dean Richards’ set-up from Saracens during the summer, believes his side has what it takes to upset the applecart in English rugby’s top tier.
Insisting the Falcons are fully prepared for the visit of the West Countrymen, the former England Saxon said: “We know what Bath are going to bring to the table, and we knew that when we played them in our first pre-season game.
“They might throw a few different moves at us or some different combinations, but we feel suitably prepared for their visit to the North East.
“We could be faced with some different scenarios that we haven’t come up against, but in terms of their general ethos we know what they’re going to bring as a team.”
The Falcons played three warm-up games in preparation for the new season coupled with a rigorous pre-season programme. And Saull admits the players are in great shape going into this weekend’s clash under the Kingston Park lights.
You are looking to improve your fitness game by game and I feel that we have certainly done that this summer,”
“There are two types of fitness – there is match fitness and running fitness which are two different things. I think we are good in both departments and I can’t wait to get out onto the field,” he added.
Adding spice to this weekend’s contest, Bath’s trip to Tyneside signals the return of coaches Gary Gold and Mike Ford who were both part of the Falcons’ survival mission towards the end of the 2011-12 campaign. Couple that with former Falcon Peter Stringer strutting his stuff on the Kingston Park stage, and it is no wonder the BT Sport cameras have swooped in to televise the game.
“I’m sure there will be a few TV haircuts, so it will be interesting to see who turns up with what style,” Saull said jokingly.
He added: “It’s always a big game when you play on TV which brings the added pressure, but the squad has responded well this week.
“There’s two ways you can go – you can get overwhelmed with the hype where you get nervous and edgy or you can let the excitement bubble to the surface and take everything in your stride.
“I’m really looking forward to the game and I really hope we can shock a few sides this year.”
You can snap up your tickets for Friday’s game by calling the Falcons Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or click here to purchase online.