Wednesday 27 November 2013 Written by: Adam

The Falcons boss welcomes his former club to Tyneside after seeing his side make a solid start to the campaign in English rugby’s top-flight.

And speaking at the Falcons’ pre-match press conference at Kingston Park, Richards is hoping the passionate North East and Cumbria fan-base can spur the northeasterners on to victory when Quins come to town.

“The supporters have been fantastic for us this season, just as they were last season when we were in the Championship,” said Richards.

“December is a big month for the club and the games are coming thick and fast, so it’s important that our loyal fans continue to back us week in, week out,” he added.

Conor O’Shea’s men travel to Newcastle currently occupying fourth place after defeating Gloucester at the Twickenham Stoop. Determined to kick-on in the league, Richards is well aware of the dangers posed by the Londoners.

He said: “They play a very expansive game with the likes of Mike Brown, Chris Robshaw and Nick Evans in their ranks.

“Their whole team is a threat and it’s a great opportunity to test ourselves against some of the very best players in the game.”

Sunday’s clash will be a memorable occasion for Ally Hogg, who hits the ripe old milestone of 100 appearances. Richards has paid tribute to the 30-year-old back-row and admits he should still be in the Scotland reckoning after racking up 48 caps for Scotland.

“Hoggy’s been fantastic for the club ever since he arrived here,” said Richards.

“I don’t think people realise how well he understands the game, and the fact that he’s out of favour with the Scotland national team begs the questions as to why he’s not selected.

“It’s a big milestone for him and it’s testament to his commitment.”

Tickets are still available for Sunday’s game by calling the Falcons Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or [click here][1] to purchase online.