Green light for Saturday’s game
The Falcons are due to host Harlequins on Saturday in a 3pm kick-off, with the Kingston Park clash being shown live in the UK on BT Sport Extra 2.Following the cancellation of their last two games at Northampton and Worcester the latest round of Covid testing across all 12 clubs produced just one positive out of 1,047 samples, with Premiership Rugby giving all six matches the green light.
Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: “We’re back to talking about the rugby now, and it’s about time.
“It’s been a nightmare because we got our season off to a flying start with three wins in a row, but everything has become a little bit disjointed.
“We had our Boxing Day game cancelled, then the two European games, and after getting a couple of Premiership matches played we’ve had another two cancellations over the past fortnight.
“It’s not what anyone wanted but you just have to get on with it, and it means we’re fresh going into Saturday against Harlequins.”
Asked if there had been any lingering issues following this month’s positive tests, Richards said: “It has affected a couple of the boys, but thankfully not significantly enough for us to have to worry too much about it.
“We obviously do monitor all the players on a daily basis, and the medical team are fully on top of that side of things.
“The numbers we’re talking about weren’t significantly high compared to some other clubs, it just happened to affect a certain area of the squad over a ten-day period whereby we’ve ended up having to put a halt to our last two games and our training.
“That’s not what anyone wanted – we wanted to be out there playing – and that would have been the best scenario for us. Alas, it wasn’t to be.”
Relishing the challenge of Saturday’s home game against a Harlequins side who have won their last four in the league, the former Quins boss insisted: “The boys are up for it.
“We’ve missed a lot of training over the past two weeks, but ultimately if we can’t drop stright back into it then there’s something wrong with us.
“We’ve got a fresh squad, a fresh set of legs and we’re raring to go.”