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Falcons hoping for Premiership Rugby Shield success on home turf

Falcons hoping for Premiership Rugby Shield success on home turf

Newcastle Falcons academy manager Mark Laycock hopes his side can leave their home fans happy as they host Saracens Storm in the final of the Premiership Rugby Shield tonight.

The Falcons boss is looking to make the most of familiar surroundings of Kingston Park as his charges line up against the second string of last season’s Gallagher Premiership Rugby champions.

Laycock’s men earned the right to host the final as they had the best record during the group stages – they topped the Northern Conference with 44 points and eight wins.

“The boys are all buzzing about being in the final, and especially with it being at home,” he said.

“Our last four semi-finals at this level had all been away from home down at Exeter, Saracens and Gloucester, and it does make a huge difference having home advantage this year.

“We knew top seeding would probably come down to tries scored, so we’ve always had that in our minds during the group stage that we had to get a big number of tries on the board.

“Everything came together as we’d hoped it would in the semi-final. The boys exerted a huge amount of energy and emotion, and you could see that from the performance.”

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Falcons secured their spot in the showpiece game with a seven-try 54-12 win over Exeter Braves.

An Adam Radwan double set up Newcastle’s triumph in the final four, while the winger himself has dotted down a record-breaking 12 times in the competition this term.

Meanwhile, with 11 academy players featuring in the Saracens 23 as they beat Leinster to lift the Heineken Champions Cup at the weekend – they have a tried and tested pipeline for producing talent.

The potency of their up-and-coming players was exemplary in the semi-final, a 89-7 triumph against back-to-back winners Northampton Wanderers, which included a hat-trick from Sione Vailanu, as well as doubles from Tom Woolstencroft, Tom Whiteley and Anthony Maka.

Entry and parking are free for the game at Kingston Park, with kick-off at 8pm. 

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