Moroni relishing Saturday’s Leicester re-union
The Argentina international started the Premiership final for Leicester back in June as they defeated Saracens to lift the league title, saying: “It’s going to be a special game for me if I’m selected.
“Leicester was my first experience of playing club rugby outside of Argentina, and I really enjoyed that time.
“It felt like my home, but now I also feel like Newcastle is home, and I love being with the Falcons.”
Recalling his Twickenham triumph with the Tigers at a time when he already knew his future was on Tyneside, Moroni said: “I will never forget the Premiership final because it was an incredible experience, even though I knew I was leaving.
“Leicester had told me a month or so earlier that they weren’t going to keep me, and I had then gone out and signed my contract with Newcastle even though it hadn’t been announced.
“Leicester knew all about it and we had a very honest conversation, during which I said I was fully committed to playing in the remaining games even though we both knew I was leaving. It was very sincere from both sides, and I just basically said I’m thinking of the present, not the future, in that I want to help Leicester win the Premiership title.
“Mentally I was pretty calm because I knew the Newcastle move was all finalised, and I knew that Newcastle was a good place with people I know and respect. I like the objectives of Newcastle and the way we go about things, and although we haven’t achieved them yet I can see the hard work which is pointing us in the right direction.”
Still with fond memories of his time at Leicester, the centre said: “I have really good friends there, but I’ll try not to think about those things on the day if I’m involved.
“Once the game starts I have no more friends, and when it finishes I hope I have the same friends I had before!
“On the pitch I don’t want to do anything which breaks those friendships, but we’re all competitive people and we’ll be trying our hardest for our team to win the game.”
Joining countrymen from around the Premiership in heading to Leicester for Christmas, Moroni explained: “Because the Falcons played on December 23 and Leicester played Gloucester on Christmas Eve, the Argie boys all went to Leicester for Christmas to spend some time together.
“Some other guys went up to Glasgow because we have a few boys up in Scotland as well, and it’s good to have that network of people within a few hours’ drive.
“We had a good time with those boys in Leicester, it’s always nice to see them and to speak some Spanish together. But that friendship will have to be paused until after the game on Saturday!”
Hopeful of handing some inside information to the Falcons’ management, the Buenos Aires native added: “I have been looking at Leicester’s games, and hopefully I can be some help to the coaches here.
“The reason Leicester did what they did last season was because they went back to their fundamentals.
“Obviously Steve Borthwick has gone now, but the way Wiggy [Richard Wigglesworth] thinks about the game is very similar to Steve.
“In two or three weeks he is not going to have changed much in terms of how they play, and knowing the players as I do, hopefully I can be useful in just highlighting certain things which can help us.”
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