Club captain Will Welch believes 2017 can be the year Newcastle Falcons break back into the top half of the Aviva Premiership, as his side prepares for Friday night’s visit of Bath.
The Falcons ended 2016 placed eighth in the table after taking a pair of bonus points from league leaders Wasps in front of a season-high home crowd of 8,730 last Friday, and Welch is hopeful of even better this year.
“The main thing for us in 2017 is to continue the kind of momentum we have shown last year,” said the flanker, who last week returned from two months out with a fractured cheekbone.
“Our results have improved from what they were in 2015, but we are challenging ourselves to be even better.
“We want to keep within reach of that top six, and the way you do that is by winning consistently. We can’t start going three or four games without a win, and we absolutely need to have that mind-set that we are going into every single game with a total commitment towards winning it.
“By the end of this season I feel we should be there or thereabouts.”
Now back in the mix after an injury-hit end to 2016, the skipper insists he does not have too much ground to make up on the fitness side despite his mid-season lay-off.
Welch said: “I could do pretty much everything in terms of the training, so it has not been too bad in that sense.
“I had a quick operation to flick the cheekbone back out, and I was good to do weights and running straightaway. It was just a matter of giving it time to heal and allowing me to go out and play, and it was good to get a run from the bench against Wasps.”
Tickets for Friday’s 7.45pm kick-off against Bath at Kingston Park Stadium are available by clicking here.