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LV= Cup preview: Newcastle Falcons v Cardiff Blues

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Calum Green is determined to ensure Newcastle Falcons get back to winning ways as soon as possible, starting with Friday night’s LV= Cup clash with Cardiff Blues.

After four straight wins in all competitions the Falcons finally slipped up at Northampton Saints last weekend, losing 37-23.

Now the Blues visit Kingston Park in their first LV= Cup foray of the season and Green is eager to send them back to Wales empty-handed, knowing a second defeat in the competition would leave them in a perilous position in Pool 3.

“Obviously we want to put things right against Cardiff this weekend,” said the second row. “We just want to keep on winning as now we’ve got a taste for it and we want to win as much as possible.

“We’ve been looking at Cardiff the past couple of weeks, but we don’t really know what sort of team they are going to send up.

“We are taking it very seriously and will be putting out a full strength side so we can get some game-time altogether before Bath in the Premiership the following week.

“We want to get back to winning ways for sure so it will be a strong side so we can get some momentum again going back into the Premiership.

“We are taking the LV= Cup very seriously but it is also an opportunity to give a rest to some of the boys that have been playing a lot in the Premiership, which is what we did against Northampton.

“The boys stepped up and played well in parts there, and we have a good squad so it’s good to use everyone.”

Cardiff beat Harlequins and fellow Welsh outfit Ospreys in last year’s competition, eventually finishing third in their pool and missing out on a spot in the semi-finals.

And former Wales U20 skipper Ellis Jenkins knows the importance of hitting the ground running against a strong Newcastle side.

“Newcastle had nearly a first-string team last week so we know that they are taking the competition seriously and we will need to be ready,” he said. “We have spoken about not being daunted by it – it’s a chance to impress.

“Against English teams there is always a bit of extra competition, it’s great to get the chance to play different teams.

“We played Quins in Europe last year and Leicester this year, it’s always great to sample a different environment.

“It’s an opportunity to play at a level that a lot of the boys have been trying to get into and it’s always nice to get the opportunity.

“It gives you the chance to put your hand up for games coming up in the league and in Europe.
There’s only so much you can showcase in training, the guys will definitely be trying to impress in a competitive environment.”

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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