GOPPERTH POISED TO JOIN 100 CLUB
Today should have marked Jimmy Gopperth’s one hundredth appearance for Newcastle Falcons, but the Kiwi fly-half will have to wait another day as the big freeze grips the nation.
The RFU deemed Kingston Park unplayable on Wednesday for this evening’s Championship clash with Cornish Pirates after the North East was hit by a deluge of snow.
“I am naturally disappointed that the game was postponed as it would have been great to have reached the milestone in front of the home fans,” said Gopperth, who is set to join the 100 club alongside Rob Vickers, Jonny Golding, Alex Tait and Matt Thompson.
“It will be an absolute honour when I do get the chance to lead the team out for my one hundredth game, and it’s the sort of milestone that everyone strives to get to.
“You only have to look at those who have reached 100 appearances to realise that it is an elite group of players, and it will be a proud moment to pull on the black jersey again,” he added.
It’s fair to say that the charismatic fly-half has seen many changes during his four year stint on Tyneside. None more than the changes that have taken place in recent times with the reputable Dean Richards installed as the club’s new director of rugby last summer under the watchful gaze of passionate rugby man and Falcons owner Semore Kurdi.
With Richards’ appointment came a new wave of optimism for top-class rugby in the North East, a feeling that has been injected into the changing room by the new man at the helm according to Gopperth.
> Dean’s had a massive influence on the players and his ethos is very
> much work hard, play hard – you could say he’s creating a culture at
> the club.
“There’s bit of an old school culture coming into the club, and that’s what rugby is all about. If you enjoy each other’s company off the field, you’re going to trust each other on the field, and the performances will come good.
“There is a really relaxed atmosphere around the club at the moment and everyone is working together towards the ultimate goal of getting back into the Aviva Premiership which is where a club of this magnitude belongs.”
You can read more from Gopperth in your next issue of the Falcons official match day programme.
Kingston Park plays host to England Saxons v Scotland A on Friday 1 February (kick-off 8pm). Tickets are still available by calling the Falcons Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or click here to purchase online.