Falcons boosted by returning internationals
Hooker Jamie Blamire is fresh from helping England defeat the world-champion Springboks last weekend, with Trevor Davison and Adam Radwan also capped by England during the autumn.
Back-row Callum Chick has been part of an England squad which won all three of its recent tests against Tonga, Australia and South Africa, with Newcastle also welcoming back Argentina wing Mateo Carreras and Italy lock Marco Fuser.
“First of all, it’s great to have all the international boys back this week,” said Walder, a former England fly-half himself in a playing career which saw him winning the Premiership, European Cup and multiple domestic cups.
“They’ve all done really well and taken the chances they’ve had, and it’s nice just having them around again.
“The question is how quickly can we integrate them back into things, because with the nature of international rugby and all the covid bubbles we’ve not really seen much of them during the past month.
“They’ve been playing a level up where things are probably a little bit faster and there are a few more decisions to be made, so for us it’s a case of stripping things back and keeping it simple for them to adjust as quickly as possible.
“Everything’s very scientific these days in terms of managing how far they run and what their training and playing load has been, so we’re very mindful of that. We’ll adjust the plans accordingly for each individual player based on that information, and for guys like Jamie Blamire it’s a case of harnessing the high he has been on.
“Starting against South Africa and getting a win against the world champions has meant he has naturally come back buzzing, and that gives everyone a lift.
“Other guys have had fewer match minutes over the past couple of weeks, and in terms of someone like Adam Radwan it’s just part of his learning curve.”
Radwan grabbed a hat-trick on his debut against Canada over the summer and scored two minutes into the autumn opener against Tonga – Walder confident he will have benefited from his time in camp.
“Just for him to be involved in that environment – if you rewind two or three years and look where he was I don’t think many people would have imagined he’d be in the England squad,” said the Falcons head coach.
“He deserves to be there, he’s worked hard and done well over the summer for England, and then after scoring against Tonga he’ll probably be disappointed not to have had any further match involvement against Australia and South Africa.
“But he’s still been training in that environment and learning from the guys in that squad, which can only be good for him in the long term. The same goes for Trevor Davison and Callum Chick, and it’s just great that our guys are being recognised in such numbers.
“As well as the England boys we’ve also had Marco Fuser away with Italy and Mateo Carreras with Argentina.
“Mateo scored in back-to-back games for Argentina before going off injured on Sunday against Ireland, so we’ll just have to liaise with the medical team and see where he is in terms of whether or not he will be available for selection this weekend.”
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