Welch braced for physical northern 'derby' at Sale

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Newcastle Falcons captain Will Welch says his side will have to be right on their game to repeat last season’s away victory over Sale Sharks when the Gallagher Premiership’s two northern teams do battle on Saturday.

Newcastle were one-point winners at the AJ Bell Stadium during the early part of last season and are looking for the victory which will kick-start their 2018-19 campaign, Welch saying: “We aren’t really where we want to be after five games, if we’re honest.

“We’ve fallen on the wrong end of a couple of close ones but we don’t feel we’re playing that badly. It’s just a few little things which will make a big difference if we can iron them out, and Sale will be a good test for us.”

Newcastle did the double over their northern rivals last term, Welch expecting another physical shift as he sits joint-second in the Premiership tackle chart, level on 82 tackles with fellow Falcon Mark Wilson.

“Sale are a tough team who can frustrate you, especially at their place,” said the skipper.

“They’ve got a big old pack, they make it hard for you and they’ll be trying to stop us playing with the ball in hand. Hopefully we can get that second win to really kick-start our season, but we’ll have to be on form to get the result over there.”

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