Collett determined to take cup chance

Wednesday 10 November 2021 Written by: Adam

The 25-year-old flanker has made 11 first team appearances for the Falcons since arriving from New Zealand province North Harbour, and says the cup is the ideal forum to drive healthy competition among the squad.

“This is a massively important tournament for the guys who haven’t played so much rugby in the Gallagher Premiership this season, and want to show the coaches what they can do,” said Collett.

“Over this next fortnight block you’ll have a big group of guys looking to get a decent amount of game time, putting our hands up and fighting for those spots.

“If you’re third or fourth in the pecking order for any given position you can go a good amount of time without actually playing. The club generally won’t want to loan you out because they know they might need you on the weekend if guys go down or slip out of form, but you’re also not regularly in the Premiership match-day squad.

“From a mental side as much as anything else it’s important to have these cups week to look forward to, because that’s where you get the chance to show what you can offer in the match environment.

“You’re obviously still training with the guys day in, day out, but nobody in rugby wants to be a professional trainer. You want to play games, but when you’ve got as much squad depth and quality as we do at the moment you just have to bide your time and take your chances when they come.”

Having already beaten Wasps at home in the league the Falcons are out to do the double over the men from Coventry, Collett stating: “It’s difficult to know what to expect from Wasps because different teams do different things in the Prem Cup regarding their selection, although in terms of how they play the game we’re obviously pretty familiar with their style.

“They’ll play edge to edge, look for offloads, put in their cross-field kicks and all that sort of stuff. The great thing is the way our defence has been working, we can really try to shut them down early and hopefully close all those options down for them.

“It’s more just been looking at ourselves this week in terms of the preparation, to be honest, because we know it’s a big opportunity for us. There’s a huge momentum around the club following last weekend’s Premiership win down at Exeter, and the guys who are involved in the cup games just want to continue that feelgood factor.

“Even if there are a lot of different players involved in the cup games it still taps into that same feeling, and it’s very much a squad culture here. The guys who weren’t playing in the Exeter game were fully behind the 23 who travelled down, and it’ll be the same thing the other way round when it comes to the cup games over the next fortnight.”

Led by academy head coach James Ponton, forwards coach Micky Ward and head coach Dave Walder on Saturday, the following week’s trip to Sale Sharks will see the team taken by skills coach Mark Laycock, defence coach Nick Easter and line-out coach Scott MacLeod.

Collett said: “We’ve rotated our coaching team for the cup games, and that brings a different voice to it as well as putting people in different positions.

“We’ve got Jimmy Ponton, Dave Walder and Micky Ward taking us this week, and it’s been good.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jimmy around some of the A-League stuff previously, and that fresh perspective on things is good for the players just as it is for Jimmy’s own development as a coach.

“Training has gone well, the guys are chomping at the bit to get out there on the field and I think the fans will enjoy watching what we hope to bring to the game on the weekend.”

[**Click here**][1] to buy tickets for Saturday’s 3pm kick-off, which is included in the 2021-22 season ticket membership package.