Tom Catterick is itching to don Newcastle Falcons’ No.10 shirt again after guiding the club to a memorable European Rugby Challenge Cup victory.
A young Falcons side welcomed French giants Stade Francais to Kingston Park on Friday night, clinching a 30-23 win to maintain their stranglehold on Pool 3.
The Aviva Premiership Rugby outfit were led by Catterick, the fly-half pulling the strings in midfield and kicking ten points from the tee.
But the 24-year-old – used across the back line since joining Newcastle in 2009 – admitted he was far from his fluent best under the Friday night lights.
“I enjoyed the extra responsibility that comes with playing at fly-half although it’s something I could definitely get better at,” he said.
“I really enjoy that responsibility and I think in patches we played really well. You know, getting on the front foot and hopefully the boys will say I directed them around well.
“There are still a lot of things to work on and I was very rusty in the first ten minutes, including missing those two very kick-able kicks, but from there I just tried to keep my head down from there and keep working.
“Overall I really enjoyed it, and really enjoyed the run out with the boys.”
Despite their inexperienced line-up last week, Catterick insists Newcastle were not daunted by the prospect of hosting Morne Steyn and co.
And he is desperate to once again lock horns with Stade and edge his side closer towards the knockout stages, as the Falcons prepare for the return fixture on Thursday.
He added: “When the Stade team came out it wasn’t a case of ‘oh no’, it was ‘here we go boys, let’s really get stuck into them’.
“It’s always good to play against world-class players and to know they’ve brought a team of that quality, to turn them over with quite a young squad that hasn’t played together for a while is really impressive.
“Like we said there are always things for us to work on, but to turn a team over at home like that in front of a good crowd, you can’t beat it.
“I don’t know where I’ll be playing but hopefully I will be in Thursday’s squad somewhere. I’d love to make the trip over there, because playing Stade in Paris will be a great atmosphere and hopefully they’ll put the same team out and we can really get into them again.
“To get a win over there while they’re playing at home would be something special.”
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