Kiwi wing ace Ryan Shortland is set to make his first Aviva Premiership start of the season when Newcastle Falcons tackle London Irish at Kingston Park tomorrow afternoon (kick-off 3pm).
The 27-year-old has missed the first five Premiership games this term due to a calf injury picked on the eve of his side’s opener with Bath Rugby.
Making a welcome return to the starting line-up for the Falcons’ Amlin Challenge Cup trips to Bucharest Wolves and Brive, Shortland is now raring to go this weekend.
“The timing of my injury was frustrating, and having played all the pre-season games and put in a summer’s worth of work, I was even named in the team on the Wednesday before the Bath game,” said Shortland.
“It was just tightness more than anything, but I needed to get it right. Thankfully we are on top of it now, and I’m happy to be back,” he added.
And Shortland is back with a bang, fresh from scoring an impressive try during last weekend’s narrow defeat in Brive. With his attacking prowess a key component of his game, Shortland admits he has been working on other areas of his game, saying: “As much I love to run the ball, I have been doing a lot of work on my kicking.
“Sometimes you just need to play it safe and be smart, even if it means an afternoon on kick-chase duty. Both ourselves and Irish need this win, and both have good attacking players.
“Hopefully that combines to make it a good game for supporters, and a result they can enjoy.”
Victory on Sunday could propel the Falcons into the top six if results go their way.
Tickets for the game are still available by calling the Falcons Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or click here to purchase online.