Lee Smith admits he wants to hit the ground running against Harlequins this weekend after sealing his dream Aviva Premiership move to Newcastle Falcons.
Former rugby league star Smith walked through the doors of Kingston Park on Monday to join up with his new teammates ahead of Saturday’s trip to high-flying Quins.
The utility back had a brief spell at London Wasps in 2010 but only made one appearance before returning to former club Leeds Rhinos in the Super League.
But after returning for a second stint in the Aviva Premiership, Smith is desperate to make it count.
“I really want to hit the ground running,” said the 27-year-old. “I want to be ready and make a difference as soon as possible and I think I can bring some real quality into the team.”
The Falcons have slipped to seven straight Aviva Premiership defeats and are 11th in the table – ten points above bottom side Worcester Warriors.
Newcastle’s only two away victories in the competition this season came at Sale Sharks and Worcester, while their only victory in their last eight Aviva Premiership fixtures against Harlequins was 33-18 at Kingston Park in March 2011.
But Smith is eyeing an upturn in form. He said: “I don’t think we should be looking over our shoulders because that’s a negative way to go about things.
“We can’t spend every week hoping that Worcester lose we have to look above us and concentrate on catching the teams higher up the league.”
Harlequins' last four matches in the Aviva Premiership have all been won by the home side, while their only defeat in their last six home games was 13-16 to Clermont Auvergne in the European Cup on January 11.
But Quins full-back Ollie Lindsay-Hague is warning his side against complacency after a nail-biting 11-10 victory over London Wasps last time out.
“Newcastle are a tough team, we played them up there in November and it’s a really tough place to play, so we’ll be glad to be back at home,” he said.
“We’re hoping to build momentum after last week’s performance against London Wasps, we’ll be looking for a better showing than we put in there.
“We’ve done our homework this week, we know their strengths, they are a very physical team so we will have to front up to that and match them.”
Twickenham Stoop (3pm)
Referee: JP Doyle (73rd Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Andrew Pearce & Luke Pearce. TMO: Graham Hughes.