Argentinian international Gonzalo Tiesi is keen to put his injury woe behind him and help Newcastle Falcons secure their Aviva Premiership status ahead of this Sunday’s tussle with Northampton Saints at Kingston Park (kick-off 3pm).
The ink was barely dry on his contract when just days after penning a deal with the club Tiesi suffered a hamstring tear in the autumn international against England. But now three games into his return to the rugby arena after more than three months on the sideline, the 28-year-old is raring to go for his new side.
“It was a bit of a shock to my body at first but it didn’t take me long to get used to the pace and intensity of the game,” said Tiesi.
“Getting through the first few weeks has been key for me, and now I’ve done that I have the confidence to build on my last two Premiership games,” added Tiesi.
The talented No.13 has gone onto face Bath Rugby and Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership since his return to the fray, with the latter almost toppled by the Falcons in the capital last weekend.
“Quins were missing some key players but they are still a very strong side with a lot of depth in their squad, and we were able to push them all the way to the end and I think we should have won,” said Tiesi.
“We played with superb intensity and hopefully we can take the positive things that we did last week into these next couple of games,” he added.
A second half fight-back spearheaded by Alex Tait’s try ten minutes from time proved not enough as two Ben Botica penalties denied Newcastle a momentous victory.
Reflecting on his time at The Stoop, Tiesi said: “Last week was actually the first time I had been back there since leaving the club and it was great to catch up with old teammates and staff.
“I loved my time at Harlequins, but now I’m at Newcastle and I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead. We have eight massive games left starting with today and I will be doing everything in my power to help us secure our Premiership status for next season.”
High-flying Northampton Saints travel to the North East with a near perfect return in English rugby’s top table. The Saints’ only defeat of the season came in contentious circumstances at Gloucester Rugby, whilst a draw at Leicester Tigers are the only blots on an otherwise polished copybook.
“Northampton are a very physical team and will have a strong pack at their disposal,” said Tiesi.
He added: “The contact area will be key and if we are able to dominate them physically then we will make our life a lot easier.
“They have good players and we must respect that they are a top of the league team so we must make sure that we are fully prepared for the game and trust ourselves to have a go at them.
“I’m looking forward to it and I can’t wait to play in front of the Newcastle fans, who have been great to me since I arrived.”
Tickets are still available for Sunday’s game by calling the Falcons Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or click here to purchase online.