Newcastle Falcons 7s captain Callum Chick admits his side will miss the roar of the Kingston Park crowd when they continue their Singha Premiership Rugby 7s journey next week.
The 18-year-old’s side travel down to Twickenham Stoop for Friday’s final showcase, having eased their way past Leicester Tigers, Sale Sharks and Worcester Warriors in the northern leg of the competition to top Group D.
Playing in front of a raucous home crowd, the Falcons notched up an impressive 123 points and conceded just 36 in their three matches.
And while England under-18s captain Chick conceded the loss of their partisan support would make a difference in London, he is adamant his side could improve even further.
“The crowd was huge for us in Newcastle,” he said. “When you were blowing after the first half or after a long period of play, they are what was keeping you going.
“It’s a great honour also to be asked to be captain here today. I grew up around the the club, and to get to lead the side out is a huge moment for myself.
“It’s a really good way for Newcastle to start the season. It’s a superb win under our belts and hopefully there’s more to come for us.
“We can’t wait to get down to Twickenham Stoop now and play more of our rugby, and hopefully we can have the same kind of success that we’ve had here.
“There’s a few things still to work on in time for the final on Friday, but overall we’re exceptionally happy.”
The Singha 7s is known for the opportunity it gives to younger players looking to impress the first team coaches, and Chick insists his fresh-faced side relish that pressure.
And he added that the Newcastle youngsters desperate to make their mark in the jersey could make the difference for his side at Twickenham Stoop.
He said: “The Singha 7s is huge for us as players. It gives you the chance not only in a first team environment, but also nationally.
“It is broadcast on TV so gets our names out there, and gives us the chance to show the country what we can do as players.
“Rugby 7s really stretches us; it highlights how important your basic skills are, and also determination as well as it is such a quick game.
“I’m really excited to get down to the Stoop and just play more 7s. And then looking beyond that, doing well there is a huge kick on for the rest of the season.
“It shows the first team coaches and the academy coaches what we can do. We’ll all be hoping to get some Premiership and A League game-time, so it’s great to show off how we can play.”
6pm – 6.20pm – Quarter-Final 1 Newport Gwent Dragons v Sale Sharks
6.25pm – 6.45pm – Quarter-Final 2 Gloucester Rugby v Harlequins
6.50pm – 7.10pm – Quarter-Final 3 Wasps v Exeter Chiefs
7.15pm – 7.35pm – Quarter-Final 4 Newcastle Falcons v Scarlets
7.40pm – 8.00pm – Plate Semi-Final Loser Game 1 v Loser Game 2
8.05pm – 8.25pm – Cup Semi-Final Winner Game 1 v Winner Game 2
8.30pm – 8.50pm – Plate Semi-Final Loser Game 3 v Loser Game 4
8.55pm – 9.15pm – Cup Semi-Final Winner Game 3 v Winner Game 4
9.20pm – 9.40pm – Plate Final Winner Game 5 v Winner Game 7
9.45pm – 10.05pm – Cup Final Winner Game 6 v Winner Game 8