Kiran McDonald impressed by first week as a Falcon

Friday 16 June 2023 Written by: Adam

The former Glasgow, Wasps and Munster man is one of 11 senior signings at Newcastle Falcons, with the 28-year-old saying: “It’s been great so far.

“The coaching has been really good, the lads have been very welcoming and everyone has the same mind-set in terms of bringing the group together and setting out how we’re going to attack the new season.

“It’s only week one and things will obviously progress as we go along, but everything seems to have been thought through by the management and the lads are enjoying it.

“The weather has been great, which helps, although with being from Glasgow I’m aware it won’t stay that way throughout the course of the year!

“There’s plenty of time to get things going in other areas and we’ll build into all that as the summer progresses, but in terms of a first week I’m absolutely loving it.”

Coming under the tutelage of new head coach Alex Codling, McDonald said: “With having Alex coming in from Oyonnax it’s a fresh start for everyone, not just the new guys like myself, and everyone seems to have taken to him.

“From the very first morning on Monday he came in full of energy and ideas, and there’s obviously been a lot of thought gone into it. We’re all ready to learn and get better, and it just feels like a good group.”

As well as their on-field work at Kingston Park the squad have also been benefiting from the state-of-the-art gym at Newcastle University’s new sports centre, with McDonald praising the varied nature of the squad’s preparation.

“We’ve had a good taste of rugby even in week one as well as all the gym and conditioning stuff you’d expect, so they’re placing a lot of importance on skills in addition to fitness,” he said.

“Pre-season is traditionally a time of year that every tight-five forward dreads, but you’ve just got to put in the work and understand that it’s money in the bank for when the season’s underway and you’re getting the full benefit of all the graft during this window.”

Reporting positive impressions off the pitch as well as on it after a turbulent year, he added: “I think Newcastle is quite similar to Glasgow so we feel right at home so far, even though the city and the layout of everything is brand new to us.

“My Mrs, our four-month-old son and the dog are all enjoying it, and with the weather been good we’ve been getting out and about to see a bit of the place.

“It’s a fresh start for us all. It was a strange year last year with everything that happened at Wasps, and you can point to the obvious negative factors, but in a way I think it’s left me in a really positive place to have some light at the end of the tunnel and a really exciting new challenge here.

“I’m at a really good club in a brilliant city with a group of lads who have made me feel welcome, and my mind-set is really positive about what’s in store here with the Falcons.

“Like a lot of the guys I’m just getting to know people better, and Alex has been really clever with some of the little things he’s put in place to get the guys a bit closer together. I’m sure we’ll see the fruits of that as time goes on and everything develops, but everyone seems really switched on and we’re all buying into the same stuff.”

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