Argentine centre wants strong finish to first season in English rugby's top flight
Juan Pablo Socino enters the lion’s den that is Kingsholm for the first time in his career this weekend, as the Falcons take on Gloucester in the Aviva Premiership with the Argentine relishing the experience.
Renowned for passionate support, particularly from “The Shed” Socino says the atmosphere in Aviva Premiership stadiums has been one of the things he has enjoyed most from his step up to the top flight.
“I’ve never had the chance to play down there but I did ask the boys and they said that it was a good environment to play with a big crowd and lots of noise. I’ve enjoyed the environment everywhere we’ve played; it’s an experience that you’ve just got to enjoy it.”
“With this being my first season in the premiership and I’ve enjoyed every ground. They are all great environment like Franklins Gardens and Welford Road and home is absolutely amazing. I came last year to watch a Falcons game and this year has felt a lot different from what it was.”
Heading into Saturday’s game in the West Country, the Falcons squad are determined to make the most of it and the two remaining games of the season and as George McGuigan commented earlier in the week, Socino believes the squad are well prepared.
“We’ve had a really good week training and we’re looking forward to it. We want to finish the season on a high so we are targeting the next three games so obviously this is a massive one to go down there, but yeah feeling really confident about it.”
“It has been good to you have a bit longer to prep for a game. The fact that we didn’t have a game allowed us to recover like the boys with niggles or the boys who were tired or whatever. So yeah, we had a really good two weeks training and some time off for the boys to relax and recover so should be feeling fresh enough for the weekend.”
Having performed well in their last two fixtures against the Cherry and Whites, a 20-10 victory at Kingston Park in November and a narrow 40 -33 loss at Kingsholm last March, the Falcons will be travelling looking to compete and hopefully tighten up the defence to give them the best chance of a result.
“Hopefully we can play like the boys did last year, though not in terms of what the result was. If it has to happen, a big score, hopefully it is in our favour. We’re going down there to play our game. We know what they’re about and we won’t change anything because of the way they play.”
“The focus is on us and hopefully we can just get the result we want we want to get a win. Gloucester will want the win too after the game at Kingston Park. They have always had really good players and maybe seem to gel very well earlier in the season.”
“They seem to be playing really good rugby the last few weeks. That’s when you can tell how good are they players they have when things start going well they go really, really well for them.”
“But like I said before we want to finish on a high and build for next season we think we are going the right way. We believe in where we are going and what we are doing in this project and I think that’s the most important thing.”