Orlandi hoping to make an early impact for Newcastle Falcons
It’s been something of a whirlwind week for new Newcastle Falcons signing Juan Pablo Orlandi.
Having agreed terms with the Falcons on Monday, Orlandi began training with his new side the following day less than a week later found himself named as a replacement for the Falcons’ Aviva Premiership game against London Welsh this Sunday.
Speaking after having his first official photographs taken as a Falcons player Orlandi, 31, said: “To be on the bench on Sunday is pretty quick; I’m really happy to have been selected on the bench but also quite nervous too; the team have all been working together for a few months now so I’m now trying to learn all of the calls and get to grips with everything before Sunday.”
Having begun his career with Italian side Rovigo in 2009, Orlandi moved to French Top 14 side Racing Metro in 2009 where he would spend four years before joining Bath in 2013.
“I really enjoyed Paris; it was a great four years in a great city and a great place but when I moved to Bath, that was really nice too. Bath is an ambitious club and a big team who try to fight to be at the top of the league so that was also a good experience.
“I love rugby and I like to try the different championships because I like to learn about different cultures too; rugby has allowed me to do that.”
With 15 international caps to his name so far and hopes of continuing to represent Argentina, the forthcoming Rugby World Cup was a big part of Orlandi’s decision to move to the UK.
“With the World Cup coming to England this year my idea was that if I can have some good game time in England and can learn more about the culture here and play some rugby here then I will be in England for the World Cup, which I hope will put me in a good position.”
When the offer came to move North less than two years later to provide support to a Falcons’ front row that had suffered a number of injury setbacks, the decision was an easy one.
“I spoke to Dean who said we’ve had a couple of injures and that he would like me to join the team to give more options in the front row.
“I think Newcastle is a great team which is getting stronger every day and I have a couple of friends who speak very well about the club and the city; Gonza Tiesi is one, and Micky Young who played here and is a good mate at Bath; they told me that the Falcons are working very hard and it is a great group of boys.
“I haven’t had time to look around yet, just really walking around the area between training. Micky told me it can be very cold but it’s quite similar to Bath at the moment, although I think it might get colder!
“So far I’m feeling very good and everyone is making me feel very comfortable and helping me, so I am really happy to be here.”
Newcastle Falcons’ game against London Welsh kicks off at 2pm this Sunday. Tickets for the game are still available, starting from £15 for adults and £7.50 for juniors, and can be purchased [online], from the club Ticket Office or by calling the Falcons’ 24 hour Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060.