South Shields grit is the order of the day this Sunday as Newcastle Falcons aim to bounce back from their Harlequins humbling with victory over Cammi Rugby Calvisano in the Amlin Challenge Cup (kick-off 3pm).
Shieldsman James Fitzpatrick fronted up to the cameras at the obligatory pre-match press conference today, and the 26-year-old is itching to right the wrongs of Quins when the Italians come to town.
“It’s a great opportunity to rebuild within the squad and get some confidence back, and work on the stuff that hasn’t quite gone according to plan in recent weeks,” said Fitzpatrick.
“We’re looking to get back on the field and play some good rugby which we’ve struggled to do of late – our target is to get back out on to Kingston Park and enjoy ourselves before the Exeter game,” he added.
And in true South Shields style, the hard-hitting centre has promised the North East and Cumbria public free-flowing rugby against the northern Italy club.
“We’re going to have a big game on Sunday and score some tries,” said Fitzpatrick.
“We don’t know much about Calvisano, but they will undoubtedly be an aggressive side to play against and we will have to play what is in front of us,” added the fans favourite.
Defeat against Harlequins in front of the BT Sport cameras was tough to take for everyone associated with the club last time-out, but Fitzpatrick insists the players are ready to plough on, saying: “Everyone’s buzzing and everyone’s working hard in training, and we just want to erase the Quins game from our memory.
“Most of it was down to our mistakes, for example we let Danny Care snipe through too easily. We just didn’t adjust to their line speed too, and you can’t switch off against these teams.
“You’ve got to be mentally prepared for the whole game, no matter who you’re against.”
After their trip to Exeter Chiefs in the Premiership on Saturday 21 December, the Falcons host London Wasps and Sale Sharks on Friday 27 December and Friday 3 January respectively.
Tickets are available for Sunday’s game by calling the Falcons Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or click here to purchase online.