All eyes trained on Newport – Mayhew

Thursday 15 January 2015 Written by: Adam

Flanker Richard Mayhew is heading into this weekend’s European Rugby Challenge Cup clash adamant that his team’s focus, will be on the here and now rather than the past or future, when Newport Gwent Dragons travel to the North East.

The Falcons stand on the cusp of making the quarter finals of European competition for the first time since 2009, following an impressive campaign to date, however the 29 year old’s attentions are only on Saturday’s game.

“The boys have done well and put in a lot of hard work so far, but we still have two very tough games to play starting this weekend against the Dragons who have got a very good side with some quality internationals.

“They have been saying that they are quietly confident of coming up here and beating us and that is fantastic because it let us know they are coming up to pose a challenge and the boys will really enjoy getting stuck into that. We might have got that win at their place, we won’t be taking them lightly at all.”

Having spent the week preparing for the penultimate pool fixture, Mayhew is anticipating the Dragons to deliver a typical performance of a fired up Welsh side.

“They are a very physical and abrasive side who really get stuck in and carry the ball hard but the also have the endeavour to play it out wide so it should be a very exciting game with a team not afraid to get give things a go.”

After winning three out of four matches in this year’s competition and only narrowly missing out away to Stade Francais, the club’s performances in the Challenge Cup have played a bit part of building momentum in a season where the club has demonstrated improved form throughout.

Mayhew is hopeful that will continue to be the case over the next month, even if the challenges of the competitions are subtly different.

“The rugby is still hard in Europe, though it is slightly different to the Premiership as I think there is a chance to go out there and express yourself. You also have the difference of having a few of the younger players playing who have a bit of excitement about showing what they have got and I think that all makes for an expansive and exciting game.”

“The young guys bring an energy and an excitement, they have a lot of confidence and aren’t scared to express themselves, they do come in a bit nervous, but they aren’t afraid to play and I think they are showing their potential and skills.”

“Hopefully this weekend, anyone coming into the team will be able to continue that form and push their case for a premiership band over the course of the next month or so.”
Tickets for Saturday’s game are still available and can be bought by clicking [here][1] calling 0871 2266060 or by visiting the Kingston Park box office.