Venditti excited by starting XV return

Saturday 30 January 2016

Italian World Cup star raring to go as Aviva Premiership Rugby resumes

Italian international Giovanbattista Venditti returns to the Newcastle Falcons starting XV for Sunday’s game against Harlequins and his happy to earn his recall.

With the club opting to use the European Rugby Challenge Cup as a vehicle to field sides with a focus on young English qualified talent, Venditti has been able to recharge his batteries and get ready for an intense period of league action.

Speaking after completing the week’s training, the 25 year old said, “I’m very happy to be back. I’ve missed playing games for the couple of months. I wasn’t registered for the European games, but I missed out on some important premiership games so I am very happy to be back and to help the team going forward.”

Following the announcement of the Italian RBS 6 Nations squad and his omission, Venditti has an unexpected opportunity to nail down his shirt and insists that his focus is on delivering good performances for his club in a crucial period.

“The Falcons is my priority. I want to play well here and keep my place in the starting 15 and taking my opportunity in the Premiership, a really high profile league. If that gets me involvement in the Six Nations squad, I would be very happy, but my focus is here.

Heading into the game off the back of three highly encouraging home wins, Sunday offers an opportunity to begin an unprecedented block of league fixtures on a positive note and while there is a good atmosphere within the squad, Venditti insists he and his team mates have the correct level of focus looking forward.”

“Everyone is very excited, but we know that the Premiership is tough, the game against Bath was a really good one but we can’t wait for things to happen just because they have happened in the past. We are really working hard to play and also if the weather is bad, we are going to give whatever it takes.”

“It is all about taking our opportunities here at home because I think we are in a good moment and we have to keep going like this.”

While Sunday will be only his fifth appearance in the Aviva Premiership, Harlequins are not an unknown quantity to the friendly winger, having faced them in European competition with whilst playing at Zebre.

Armed with that experience, Venditti explains what he and his team mates have to do to be in the game this weekend.

He said, “I think it will be a very tough game, Harlequins are quite a strong team. I played against them when I was in Italy and both games were very tough, they are a very physical team who use their forwards a lot to try and put the team forward. The have a lot of quality in the backs and they play that middle route with the forwards to set them free.”

“We have to play with a lot of physicality to resist that, and to be intelligent on the outside against their backs.”

Tickets for Sunday’s Aviva Premiership match are still available and can be booked by clicking here calling 0871 2266060 or calling into the stadium box office.

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