Carreras: Falcons are on the map in Argentina

Wednesday 01 March 2023 Written by: Adam

The 24-year-old (front and centre of picture) tops the Gallagher Premiership scoring chart with 11 tries in as many games – a run he hopes to continue on Sunday at home to London Irish.

“More people in Argentina definitely know about Newcastle Falcons now, and we have a lot of supporters back home,” says the winger, who was part of the Pumas team which beat England at Twickenham in November.

Joined on Tyneside by fellow internationals Matias Moroni, Pedro Rubiolo and Matias Orlando, Carreras said: “I heard there are two schools from Argentina coming to Sunday’s game against London Irish, and I’ve had some friends from my home province of Tucuman texting me saying they want to come over and watch the match.

“It’s big news for rugby fans in Argentina, and a lot of the people there will be supporting the Falcons.”

Carreras’ try-scoring exploits included a touchdown against London Irish when the two teams met in the capital back in December, even if the ruthless finisher accepts it was fellow wing man Adam Radwan who should take the majority of the credit.

“I scored the try but it was Radders who did all the work,” he said.

“I think my role in it was just to catch the pass and put it down, and hopefully on Sunday we’ll be scoring a lot more than we did that day.”

The rapid rise of Carreras this season comes on the back of consistent work behind the scenes, with the former Argentina Under-20s and 7s international taking his time to excel.

“It was tough when I first arrived because I spoke hardly any English,” he said.

“I’d come from Argentina’s summer where it was around 40 degrees, and in my first week in Newcastle we had to shovel snow off the pitch in temperatures of minus-five just so we could train!

“Now I’m really comfortable here. The people in Newcastle are really friendly, both at the club and in general life, and I really enjoy being in the North East.

“Having three more Argies here is good because we can help each other and we all get along, and it’s just a good place to be.

“I live in the same apartment complex as Pedro so we drive in together every day, and it’s a nice city where you can never get bored.

“I’m here with my girlfriend Paula, and we love it. We’re pretty quiet people so we don’t get up to anything too crazy, but Newcastle is a good home for us.”

Despite Carreras’ English now being up to the point where he is almost fluent, the winger says he and his fellow Pumas have been gratified by the decision of Newcastle Falcons’ coaching staff to embark on a course of Spanish lessons.

“I think for us it’s really important because it shows they have a lot of respect for us, and they understand how difficult it is for us to come to a country when we don’t know the language,” he said.

“We definitely feel a huge amount of respect from it, and we’ve even been helping them with some of their Spanish when they’re using some of the language apps on their phones.

“As well as the language they’re also keen to learn about our culture, and it’s nice when a Geordie like Micky Ward comes and asks me about where I’m from in Tucuman.

“I’m proud to tell him, just as I am proud to talk about Newcastle when I go back home.”

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*Read the full in-depth interview with Mateo Carreras in Sunday’s FREE digital match programme.*