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Will Welch: Newcastle Falcons must keep cool as battle heats up

Will Welch insists a revitalised Newcastle Falcons are pumped up for their crucial Aviva Premiership Rugby clash with London Irish this weekend.

But the Falcons captain has warned his teammates that they must retain cool heads when it matters if they are to emerge victorious at Kingston Park.

The Falcons have slipped to six defeats in a row in the league as the bottom-of-the-table Exiles have slowly reeled them in.

Ahead of the weekend Dean Richards’ Falcons are 11th – four points ahead of Sunday’s opponents.

Victory would go a long way to securing Newcastle’s safety but Welch admits his side – who enjoyed a week’s break over the European quarter-finals – must not get too worked up by the importance of the moment.

“This weekend is a massive – these are the game that you have got to step up, to enjoy the pressure rather than retreat into your shell,” he said.

“It’s a big game but at the end of the day we are trying as hard as we can to not think about the bigger picture – we need to stay smart and accurate.

“We are looking good, it was great to get a break last week – particularly after 10 games in a row – the guys needed a break.

“We have come back revitalised and have had a long week of training for this game.”

Since their impressive win over Northampton Saints in February, Richards’ side have slipped and Welch cannot hide his frustration at that fact. 

“It has just been the little things, we have done a lot of stuff very well but we have let ourselves down with ill discipline and in this league we have found that we get punished every time.

“We are going to have to be really disciplined – do the basics.

“The frustration is that we have been right against the top teams, we know we can beat the top sides but against the teams in and around us we have been letting ourselves down.”

London Irish have won their last four Aviva Premiership Rugby encounters against the Falcons since Newcastle's 30-11 at Kingston Park in October 2013.

But that statistic means nothing when hostilities begin on Sunday in Newcastle.

“I don’t think that matters, the match is a stand alone, records go out of the window,” added Welch. 
“Irish have not been playing too badly of late.

“We just focus on ourselves and trying to get on the front foot, to get the basics right and from there we can do some damage.

“We can’t afford to look at them too much – we need to get our own house in order.” 
 

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