Century looms for Lawson
The 36-year-old Scot is in his fifth season with the club and, if selected for Friday’s 7.45pm kick-off against his former club, would chalk up three figures for the Falcons.
“With my move to Newcastle coming so late in my career it’s something I probably didn’t think would happen when I joined the club,” said the 46-times-capped forward, who has played previously for Glasgow Warriors, Sale Sharks, Gloucester and London Irish.
“I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been able to play a lot of games, and I’m honestly delighted to be within touching distance of the hundred. If it comes against Gloucester that would be great with it being my former club, but obviously you can’t take anything for granted when it comes to selection, injuries and all the rest of it.”
The Falcons have recently celebrated a number of double centurions, Lawson instrumental in helping commemorate the landmarks reached by a host of team-mates.
He said: “I think it’s important that we mark appearance milestones and we’ve had a few guys who have hit 200 recently, like Will Welch, Alex Tait and Bobby Vickers. That’s an outstanding achievement and it’s right that we acknowledge it.
“It’s all part of the real rugby club mentality that we’re now marking these milestones more than we perhaps did in the past, and it’s such an attritional game these days which means it can be tough to post big numbers on the appearance board.”
Whether or not he ends up reaching his century on Friday Lawson knows the Falcons are in for a major test from a Gloucester team against whom they did the double last season, defeating the Cherry and Whites home and away in the league.
Forming part of a Newcastle squad which has shown a marked improvement in all three competitions this term, he said: “The perception of Newcastle used to be coming up here on a wet, windy Friday night and playing on a really poor pitch, but we’ve gone away from that. We don’t just want to be known as a dogged team who can grind out the odd win, because we’re also a good rugby team.
“Yes, you have that team spirit and desire to fight for one another as your starting point, but we want to play a high-tempo expansive game and challenge teams in all areas. That’s our mind-set, and we’re now beating teams rather than teams losing against us, if that makes sense. In the past it was a case of survival mode, but we’re now the aggressor.
“The main thing that I’ve noticed now is the constant desire for improvement, even for guys who have been there and done it. People genuinely want to be better, they’re doing the work needed to bring about that improvement and it’s a week-on-week thing rather than being one big change.
“I’m being pushed and challenged now in a way that I’ve not always been at other points in my career, and that has been brilliant for my longevity because it has invigorated me as a player.”
Tickets for Friday’s 7.45pm kick-off against Gloucester are available by [**clicking here**], calling 0871 226 6060 or from Kingston Park Stadium in person.