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Takulua has high hopes for Newcastle Falcons

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Newcastle Falcons laid down a marker for a season of optimism with their curtain-raising victory over Sale Sharks last week.

And now scrum-half Sonatane Takulua wants to see another box ticked with Falcons putting an end to their poor form on the road.

Not since their trip to London Welsh in October 2014 have Falcons triumphed away from Kingston Park, and in their three seasons back in Aviva Premiership Rugby, they have recorded successive 11th-placed finishes.

But Takulua believes they have the set the tone for a season of improvement by putting the Sharks to the sword and has high hopes ahead of the weekend’s trip to Bath Rugby.

“It was good to get the first win of the season at the first attempt, especially at home in front of our own crowd,” said the 25-year-old Tonga international.

“We had a good pre-season, and won last weekend so that has given us a lot of confidence.

“I think we can do some damage to some of the top teams this year and cause a few upsets.

“We’re still looking for an away win, so we take that challenge with each game as it comes, starting against Bath.

“This is my third season at the club and I’ve had a few injuries.

“So this season I just want to try and be involved more, get more game time, because I think we can have a good year.”

The clash with Sale saw a try-scoring return to action for winger Sinoti Sinoti, who missed much of last season with a calf injury.

Add to that a host of summer additions, including Takulua’s compatriot Opeti Fonua from Aviva Premiership Rugby rivals Leicester Tigers, and Newcastle’s squad is shaping up to be competitive.

And Takulua believes there is plenty to be excited about.

“It’s very good to have Sinoti Sinoti back, he has great quality,” added Takulua.

“He’s come back strong and looked fit and ready against Sale. And we are certainly going to need him this week at Bath.

“Bath are a team you expect to see in the top four, but we have got a couple of new signings ready to unleash against them.

“We have been training well and we are ready to go.”

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