TOP BAR - Fixtures

Vickers: Falcons primed for Gloucester battle

Newcastle Falcons hooker Rob Vickers believes the Falcons forwards can provide the platform that their dangerous backs need to thrive when they welcome Gloucester Rugby to Kingston Park on Friday night.

Falcons went down 53-17 to Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop last time out, which leaves them ninth in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table and four points behind Friday’s visitors Gloucester.

Newcastle are looking to complete a league double over the Cherry and Whites after a 18-13 victory at Kingsholm in Round Four – their first league win on the road since October 2014.

With just four matches remaining in the Aviva Premiership Rugby season, Vickers is convinced Falcons can pick up four more victories to end the campaign on a high.

“We now have four games that we believe we can win so we will see where that takes us to at the end of the season,” said Vickers.

“We have some fantastic backs – some that I think would get in any team – so we know that if we can deliver good ball for them they can do damage to any team.

“The forwards need to make sure that we deliver good ball for the backs and tighten up defensively after the game against Quins.

“They have some good forwards like Richard Hibbard who has been leading them up front, and Ross Moriarty.

“As forwards, parity with their pack is a minimum expectation for us, it is a starting point and we will fuel the crowd if we start winning the set-piece battle.”

Gloucester progressed into the last four of the European Challenge Cup after a 46-26 victory over Cardiff Blues last Friday night.

But Vickers claims Falcons’ two weeks of training since the defeat to Quins has put them in a good place ahead of their Round 19 clash.

“It does not really matter what they have been doing regarding the games they have played, we have had the opportunity to get two good weeks of training in,” added Vickers.

“It is a home game and we love playing up here in the north east so we want to put in a massive performance.

“I think us playing well at home and the crowd being loud come together.

“Every time we perform, we attract more people to come down to Kingston Park and that only creates more noise – we have some very vocal fans.”

Tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final is on 27 May at Twickenham are now on sale. If you want to have an unforgettable day out at club rugby’s best Cup Final then click here for tickets

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