Fullback Catterick unphased by opening day trip to Tigers
Newcastle Falcons fullback Tom Catterick thinks an opening day visit to Welford Road could provide his team with a golden opportunity to enjoy a fantastic start to the new Aviva Premiership season.
The Falcons will travel to face the Tigers on Saturday Sept 6 in what is widely regarded as one of the toughest away fixtures in the league, however Catterick sees the match as an opportunity to embrace, rather than an ordeal to endure and far from the racing certainty most pundits will have it down as.
“I think it’s an alright way to start the season actually. People won’t give us much chance with the Welford Road atmosphere and their record against us, but we’re certainly not viewing it as a mission impossible.”
“When Exeter were first promoted, they had Tigers as their first away game and ran them hard, then the following year, they opened their season at Leicester and took the win, so there is a recent inspiration to draw on.”
“They really used that result to build momentum from and push on so if we can do something in that game, it will be key that we use the positivity ourselves to give us the chance to build a strong season.”
“The first few games are funny anyway because while you are dealing with players who are fresh, recharged and should be at the top of their games, you are facing teams that aren’t yet fully gelled so you often see results that are shocks.”
Well into the initial phases of pre-season, Catterick has returned Kingston Park refreshed from his summer break, where time away in the North East provided him the opportunity to refresh himself physically and mentally away from the rugby field.
“It was good to have the longer break than last year this summer, I didn’t go away very far, just to a cottage near to my house in Darlington for a couple of days but that and looking after my new dog was a nice way to spend it.”
“I was going to go out and visit my parents who live out in the Middle East, but chatting to my dad, it didn’t sound like there was a lot to do so I went to Great Ayton with my girlfriend and Abel.”
“It’s been good to get back though and pre-season has been good this year. We’ve obviously been working on fitness but we’ve have also been linking in rugby and games with the programme which is good and will help us have a better understanding of our game plans.”
“We’ve set out our stall this year to draw a line under 2013/2014 and to move on to the next phase of developing this club. We know that last year we didn’t do as well as we could, but towards the end, we were playing some good rugby so there were positives to draw upon which we are going to use to push as far and as hard as we can.”
The Falcons will face London Irish in their first home game of the season on Sunday 14 September with tickets for this, the club’s pre-season fixtures against Rotherham and Edinburgh and the Premiership Rugby Seven’s series round on August 2nd on sale here