McGuigan primed for Friday night

Wednesday 10 April 2019 Written by: Adam

The stakes are high for the 7.45pm kick-off with both clubs keen to pull away from the Gallagher Premiership drop zone, McGuigan relishing the pressure.

“You live for nights like this when you’re a professional rugby player, and it’ll be a fantastic occasion,” said the hooker, who re-joined the Falcons in the summer after two seasons at Welford Road.

“Our supporters really get behind us up here and the atmosphere will be superb, it will be one hell of an encounter and we’re just looking forward to getting out there.”

Newcastle come into the game having won three of their last four, although the wounds are still fresh from last weekend’s close-run thing at champions Saracens where a controversial TMO call deprived the North Easterners a potentially-vital bonus point.

“It was frustrating because we had a game plan which seemed to be working, but we let ourselves down in crucial areas,” said the 26-year-old, who played for England against the Barbarians last summer.

“We kept the ball for large parts of the first half but individual errors cost us, and Sarries are so clinical that they took advantage.

“Coming away with no points was really frustrating but that’s why Saracens are up there – they took their chances and we paid the price for not doing the same.

“We’ll still take a lot of heart from how we performed for much of the game, and how we’ve performed during the last four games overall. We’ve won three of our four games and then pushed the champions close away from home in the other, and we’re looking forward to the challenge of facing Leicester at home on Friday.”

Showing no signs of complacency despite Tigers’ recent struggles, McGuigan added: “Leicester will definitely be up for it because they’ve got as much to play for as we do.

“We’ve done our analysis on them as we would do for any team, but it’s mainly been looking at ourselves and making sure we turn up on the night.

“The Gallagher Premiership is ridiculously competitive every single week no matter who you’re playing against, and a lot of games are won and lost by those one per cents.

“A big part of that is the mental side, keeping everyone fresh and making sure our focus is clear. Training has been short and sharp this week, it has been about just nailing the real detail of our game plan and ensuring everyone is totally clear about their roles.”

Tickets for Friday’s 7.45pm kick-off at Kingston Park Stadium are available by [**clicking here**][1].