Juan Pablo Socino is not underestimating the challenge posed by London Irish as Newcastle Falcons travel to take on the Aviva Premiership’s bottom-placed team on Saturday.
The Argentinean centre forms part of a Falcons side trying to complete a perfect five wins from five for the month of December, saying: “We are going well in all competitions, the whole group is very positive and boys are stepping up when they’re getting their chance in the side.
“We want to go into the new year fighting for top six or even higher but it’s going to be a very physical game at London Irish, and we have to meet that challenge. We have to front up, play in the right areas and take our chances when they come.”
Fully aware of the test which lies ahead at the Madejski Stadium, Socino added: “Irish are going to come out of their changing room absolutely firing, and the job for us is to exert some control on the game. They’re in front of their home crowd, they’ll want to get the win but then so do we, so it’s going to be huge.
“Irish play some really good rugby so we’re not going to be underestimating them. They have some skilful guys, some powerful guys, and while it obviously hasn’t gone their way for much of the season they still have the ability to hurt us. That’s them, though, and we want to talk about us. It’s about what we can do not what they can do, and we have to look after our own side.
“Every game of rugby starts up front. You need to win your set-piece ball and set a platform, our pack are doing the business at the moment and that enables the guys elsewhere in the team to do their bit.”