Youngsters posing selection questions for Richards

Saturday 20 August 2016 Written by: Adam

Director of rugby Dean Richards said Friday’s performance against Gala RFC was a pleasing night’s work, with a number of the club’s younger players shining in a 12-57 win over the BT Premiership side.

Adapting and combining well with some of the more established professionals who were part of the Falcons team on the evening, the youngsters made their mark in front of the Falcons boss and the senior coaching team.

Richards said: “There were a lot of youngsters on the field, with a think six or seven teenagers at the end and they really pushed themselves forward so yeah, I was really pleased.

“It’s never easy to play a team who don’t always defend their attackers as you would normally get in the Premiership and that sometimes lulls you into a false sense of understanding what is going on.”

With the Falcons having made use of the European Challenge Cup and Anglo Welsh cup to provide young players like Ruaridh Dawson, Dan Marshall and Will Witty with first team experience, more chances will come the way of those involved on Friday.

However, Richards insists that opportunities will be available week in week out for those players as he looks to make use of a squad he has hailed as stronger than last year’s vintage.

He added: “To be honest with you I am looking for them to be challenging to start in the first team and everyone who was out there tonight has the opportunity to play first team rugby not only in cups but in the Premiership as well.

“It underlines the strength in depth that we have this season and that is going to be important and allow us to compete on a number of fronts.”

One area that demonstrated this well was the set-piece, as a pack which included youngsters Santiago Socino, Andrew Davidson, Max Davies, Josh Chisanga, and Archie Erskine over the course of the evening, asserted its dominance over Gala.

And while the Falcons boss acknowledged the difference between the two sides, Richards maintains that edge was just reward for the work his charges are putting in

“The boys work hard on their set piece and I think we second guessed Gala a little bit more than is normal, but I think we performed well, as we should with practicing these things week in and week out.”

Looking ahead to the club’s final pre-season fixture next weekend against Edinburgh, Friday’s performances will provide Richards and his coaches with further considerations as they have one more run out ahead of the start of the Aviva Premiership Rugby season against Sale on September 2nd.

“It’s asked questions from a selection point of view which is good. There were some good performances out there today.”