Alesana Tuilagi says it’s time for the Falcons to show when they can do at the top level of English rugby as his team prepare for a return to Aviva Premiership action.
As Newcastle Falcons prepare to return to Aviva Premiership action against Exeter Chiefs this Saturday, Samoan winger Alesana Tuilagi believes his team are in a good position to continue their positive run of form.
“The boys are enjoying playing and the bonus points we’ve got recently are a sign of how much everyone is enjoying the game.
We’re more confident in the way we’re playing at the moment and the players are starting to get to know each other really well.”
After a month-long break which saw them win three out of four cup matches, confidence in the Falcons’ camp is high, although the team are under no illusion of the challenge ahead of them this weekend.
“Exeter are a good side and going down there is a really tough task for us; they’re mid table and there’s a big challenge to go down there and try to get the win.”
With the Falcons having emerged 29-24 victors during the two sides’ last meeting at Kingston Park in October, the Chiefs will be looking to seek revenge during this weekend’s return fixture, but the Falcons have been working hard to retain the upper hand.
“We know Exeter are a physical team and this week we’ve been working on stopping them playing their usual game of rugby so that we can be on the front foot from the first minute to the last.
“They’re a really dangerous team who play very similarly to us. They’ve got some young players who love to play around with the ball but with the mindset we’ve got at the moment if we go down there and play well we can match them. We’ve got some big boys in our team who match them physically but it comes down to which teams want to win, turn up on the day and get those points.”
Having enjoyed some time out during the earlier weeks of the cup window, Tuilagi was back in action at the Madjeski Stadium last weekend where he scored the second of five Falcons tries against London Irish.
“It was very good to get a run out last weekend to have a run around with the boys and start feeling the game again.
“Cup rugby is good but this is the main competition for us. Every game is really tough but we’re building up more every time, playing well and building our confidence. But now we need to be up there playing the big teams and the big games.
“Part of being at a good team like this is about preparing for the big games; we’ve got Exeter this weekend, then Wasps next week, then Saracens, then Tigers. They’re all good games and that’s what we want – to challenge ourselves, to have those big teams coming here.
“It’s nothing different, we just have to front up and show what we can do. The crowds are starting to come back now too and that’s what we want to give to the fans – to go out and play well for the fans.”
Saturday’s game against Exeter Chiefs kicks off at 4.30pm at Exeter’s Sandy Park Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Newcastle with live commentary available on the club’s official mobile app and the @FalconsRugby Twitter account.