Returning internationals available for Friday
The Kingston Park clash is a 7.45pm kick-off, with head coach Dave Walder able to call upon Argentina trio Mateo Carreras, Matias Moroni and Matias Orlando, USA lock Greg Peterson and England training squad members Sean Robinson and Adam Radwan.
“We’ve obviously got the three Argentina players back this week, although as always it has been a case of monitoring their workload and seeing where they’re at,” said head coach Dave Walder.
“Matias Orlando played a full 80 minutes last weekend against Scotland in a game where his team were defending two or even three men short for parts of it, so from a workload point of view we’re just keeping an eye on him.
“Mateo Carreras didn’t play last weekend so he’s fresh enough from that perspective, and it’s just about looking after your players for the good of them and the team.”
Walder and his staff had the privilege of getting a look under the bonnet at Argentina’s training camp last week, with the Falcons boss revealing: “We were lucky enough to go up and visit the Pumas as a coaching group, so myself, Mark Laycock, Micky Ward and Mark Wilson all went up to Edinburgh to spend the day with them.
“They were really accommodating and welcoming as we watched training, sat in on their meetings and spent a lot of time chatting to them. They’re great people and it’s a brilliant environment they’ve got, and it was a great learning experience for us just to spend time seeing how they do things.
“We saw the Argentina guys come in for us against Bristol earlier in the season and make a big impact following the end of the Rugby Championship, and it’s been great seeing them showcasing the Falcons’ name on the international scene over the last few weeks.
“Having them in and around the squad this week has been fantastic, and there’s a buzz around the club anyway after that win down at Gloucester in our last league game. We need to make sure it isn’t a one-off, and that’s what we’re all working towards.”
Peterson returns to Tyneside following the heartbreak of his USA team missing out on Rugby World Cup qualification after a dramatic draw against Portugal out in Dubai last weekend.
Walder said: “Greg’s a very solid bloke, and as much as he’ll be unbelievably disappointed inside he’s not letting it affect his work here at Newcastle.
“He has trained well this week, he’ll put it behind him and we’re looking forward to having him back among our group.”
The midweek release of Robinson and Radwan from England’s training squad further boosts the talent at Walder’s disposal, although the head coach admits it is not ideal to have players continually travelling to and from the national team camp with a short turnaround for Friday night’s visit of the Chiefs.
“It is what it is in terms of guys getting released by England,” he said.
“In an ideal world you’d like to think they’d take into account that we’ve got a big Premiership game on Friday night, so from our point of view it would be nice to have them back earlier if they’re not going to be involved in England’s game.
“Obviously the best-case scenario is that they play for England and represent the club on the international stage, but we just have to work with the situation as it is and try not to let it affect us.
“Sean has had it for three weeks now, and it’s as much the mental toll as well as the physical aspect when it comes to going down there, coming back here, going down again then coming back a couple of days later.
“You’re desperate to get picked by England, you put everything into England training and then you get back to your club with only one training day before their game.
“All we do is have the conversation with each player when they come back – look at their training load and find out how they’re doing – and we judge that case by case.”
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