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Retiring Goode has earned winning send off, says Watson

Andy Goode hangs up his boots for the second – and probably final – time in round 18 this weekend and Newcastle Falcons team-mate Marcus Watson is determined to give him a stellar send off.

The fly-half, who turns 36 next month, has featured in 235 Aviva Premiership Rugby matches since his debut for Leicester Tigers in the 1998/99 campaign.

In that time he has mustered 2,285 points – a record that can be surpassed only by Saracens’ Charlie Hodgson who has 2,590.

But this weekend he laces his boots for the final time when one of his former clubs Wasps travel to Kingston Park.

Goode won 17 England caps and had announced his retirement in September 2015 having struggled with his rehabilitation from two operations last summer.

Yet he completed a U-turn in December, answering an SOS from Dean Richards after No.10 Mike Delany suffered posterior cruciate ligament damage.

In six subsequent appearances for Falcons they have beaten Harlequins, Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers and picked up losing bonus points in each of their three defeats.

And 24-year-old wing Watson says it is only fitting Newcastle put on a performance throughout Goode’s final 80 minutes of a distinguished career.

“He has made a great impact at Newcastle,” said Watson.

“He has played in three of our four wins this season. He has bags of experience and that has probably been what has helped us to win the close games.

“Everyone likes him and respects him. He’s been great both on and off the pitch.

“He’s been a wonderful England and Premiership rugby player and he deserves a great send off.

“I think he would have loved to carry on until the end of the season, but he’s struggled a bit with injuries and his body is protesting.”

Goode watched from the sidelines last weekend as Newcastle lost 21-19 to Bath Rugby.

Falcons were on course for victory at The Rec until two unanswered penalties in the final 12 minutes from Tom Homer ensured they remain winless on the road this season.

It means next month’s match with 12th-placed London Irish will be vital.

But Watson insists it is too early to think like that.

“At the moment that London Irish game is not make or break,” he added.

“If we win this weekend and next then it’s not so important.

“If we win every game and they win every game then we stay up and that is the mentality both of us must have, to pick up as many points as possible now.”

If you want to be at the world's biggest club rugby final, this year's Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 28 May, tickets are still available from premiershiprugby.com/final.
 

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