Double Gloucester on the menu for Michael Young
The 7.45pm kick-off sees Newcastle looking for a repeat of the 27-21 victory they enjoyed at Kingsholm in November, with the scrum-half expecting a fierce contest against a Cherry and Whites squad bolstered by their returning internationals.
“We had a good win down there earlier in the season and the lads will have positive memories from that day,” said Young, who is just two appearances away from his double century in Falcons colours.
“Yeah, people will say Gloucester had guys away on international duty, but we had three of our backs away with Argentina. It was a good game on a nice day, and the lads all knuckled down. Winning somewhere like Kingsholm is always great, and we’ll expect a different beast from them on Friday with all their stars involved.
“They’ve got loads of firepower available to them and it’s a big challenge, but that’s what you look forward to as a player.
“They’ve got dynamite in the back three with Louis Rees-Zammit, Chris Harris who we know really well controlling their midfield and a very robust pack. They’ve got a solid set-piece, and knowing their defence coach Dom Waldouck from his time up here – he’s a great coach who has got them very well drilled.”
With Mark Laycock taking the reins as interim head coach, Young insists his fellow Hartlepool native is well placed to lead the side through the remaining weeks of the season.
“I’ve known Marko for a lot of years due to our families both being heavily involved in West Hartlepool Rugby Club, and then our association here at the Falcons,” he said.
“He’s worked incredibly hard for a lot of years and now has this opportunity, for however long that may be, and I wish him all the best with it.
“I watched him play when I was a kid and then played with him at Tynedale, which was fantastic, and he’s a great guy.
“He’s super-intelligent, a very knowledgeable rugby coach and he has a great way of putting over a very serious point in a session or meeting while still having a laugh or keeping the mood upbeat.
“He’s serious enough that he gets the best out of the boys but he also has that other side to him in terms of getting on with people, and the lads here are really behind him in his current situation.”
Fully committed to finishing the season strongly, Young added: “There’s no relegation and the likelihood of us pushing into the play-off contention is dwindling, but these are still really important games for us.
“We’ve sat down as a group and talked about how we’re going to approach the remainder of this season, and the feeling is basically that we’re going to enjoy the next four games with the group that we’ve got because the likelihood is that there will be changes within the squad here.
“We said we want to make sure that we go out every week and fight hard for each other as a team, and just put out a performance that we can be proud of as individuals and as a collective.
“That’s our goal and our motivation for the remaining games, and anyone who says we’ve got nothing to play for couldn’t be further from the truth.”
For the full in-depth interview with Michael Young, read Friday’s FREE digital match programme.
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