TOP BAR - Fixtures

Green eyes up autumn scalps with Newcastle Falcons

Calum Green admits the autumn internationals could hardly have come at a better time as in-form Newcastle Falcons aim to topple some Aviva Premiership Rugby big guns.

Last month Dean Richards’ side ended a run of 20 league games without a win by beating Exeter Chiefs, before winning at London Welsh and recording a European Rugby Challenge Cup double.

That streak didn’t extend into November, visiting Franklin’s Gardens in the LV= Cup and slipping to a 37-23 defeat last weekend, but Green is eager to get back on the horse when Cardiff Blues come to town on Friday night.

And casting his eye a little further forward, the 24-year-old believes a tricky Aviva Premiership Rugby run could in fact work in Newcastle’s favour.

Only prop Kieran Brookes has been called away from Kingston Park for England duty, while Bath Rugby have as many as seven in Stuart Lancaster’s squad to face the All Blacks and Green is expecting to put the high-flyers’ depth to the test.

“We have a tough couple of games against Bath and Gloucester coming up, but there are also a few players from the other teams away on international duty,” said the second row.

“So we see this as a great opportunity for us to go and give it a go. They will still be tough games as they are good sides, but maybe losing less guys will work to our advantage and we can get wins.

“Even when we lost the first four games we played good rugby, and it was just a case of putting a whole performance in really and not letting ourselves down for 20 minutes.

“We played 80 minutes of great rugby against Exeter and we’re just trying to carry that on now.”

And while everyone at the Falcons is enjoying the productive run, summer signing Green – with six starts from six in Aviva Premiership Rugby – has as good a reason as any to be loving life.

“I’m really enjoying the season so far,” he added. “I came up here not expecting to play that much but have been given the opportunity to play a lot of rugby.

“There are some great coaches up here and some really helpful senior players who have really helped me to improve.

“I’ve still got a lot to learn, and like the rest of the guys I am working hard every week to improve and so that I can play as much as possible, and do as well as I can.

“Scott MacLeod is there and he has played at the top level for a number of years. I speak to him about line-outs and stuff, and Ally Hogg is another one with experience and is good to talk to. So I have a lot of good guys around me and they are helping me.”

For your definitive guide to the LV= Cup click here

Be part of the rugby family at the LV= Cup Final at Franklin's Gardens, Northampton on Sunday 22 March. Visit www.northamptonsaints.co.uk for tickets

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