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Barton reflects on first week as a Falcon

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Friday 15 July 2022

Scrum-half Josh Barton has spoken of the ‘exciting times’ ahead after completing his first week as a Newcastle Falcons player.

The 24-year-old is one of 13 new arrivals after signing from Coventry, and rounded off his first week on Tyneside with a brutal hill-sprint session on Newcastle’s Town Moor.

“It’s been a class week and it’s an exciting time ahead,” said the half-back, who made his professional breakthrough with London Scottish.

“All the boys and the staff couldn’t have been any more welcoming, and I’m enjoying what we’re doing.

“In some respects we’ve been eased to it, but I know things will pick up. The standard is already very high in terms of what the players are doing and the level of ability, and it’s been good to get going after so long for me personally.”

Crediting the Falcons coaches for mixing fitness with skills during their opening week, Barton said: “I enjoy the way Newcastle approach pre-season because you’ve got your standard stuff which you obviously have to do for the strength and conditioning side, but there’s lots of skill work and game awareness mixed in from day one.

“Some places just go hammer and tongs on the fitness side from the off, which can break the guys’ morale, but as a new lad here I’ve been really impressed with how well thought out everything is in terms of the schedule and the purpose behind everything we’re doing.

“It’s given me time to settle in, but the standards are still expected to be high. It’s certainly not easy, but you enjoy the hard work because you can see what it’s all leading towards.”

Barton was speaking at the culmination of a gruelling series of hill-sprints, saying: “That hill session was pretty dark – genuinely one of the worst things I’ve ever done.

“It’s one of those where it’s more about the boys all buying in, everyone suffering together and building those bonds. You don’t want to be the guy who drops out, you keep pushing each other along and you just get on with it.

“You can see the team spirit from the way the lads were all encouraging each other, and it’s great to be involved in a group like that. We’re laying the foundation for when the games come round, and luckily it’s a pretty short pre-season.”

Fixtures for the new Gallagher Premiership season are revealed on Tuesday at 11am, with season ticket memberships on sale now by clicking here.

Source – Newcastle Falcons Rugby


Premiership

Tom Wood to captain Barbarians for showdown with Saints

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Northampton Saints legend Tom Wood will lead out Barbarian F.C. at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens for tomorrow afternoon’s clash between the two sides.The world-famous invitational side will lock horns with the men in Black, Green and Gold for the first time in history on Saturday (kick-off: 3pm), and with Saints close to full strength for the exhibition match, the BaaBaas have selected a side packed with star quality to run out in Northampton.Wood captains the team and lines up in the No.8 jersey alongside Cardiff Rugby flanker Olly Robinson and former Wasps back row Ben Morris.Elliott Stooke and Graham Kitchener – formerly of Wasps and Worcester Warriors respectively – are selected in the engine room, with an explosive front row including Scotland international Murray McCallum, All Black Hika Elliot, and Stormers tighthead Brok Harris.Former England international Danny Cipriani starts at fly-half, with Gareth Simpson in the No.9 jersey and Wales international Owen Williams filling a second playmaker role at inside centre.Outside the former Worcester player in midfield is another Saints legend in Luther Burrell, who runs out at the Gardens berth for one final appearance in the UK before making the switch to Japan.And the Barbarians’ back-three is full of pace and power with England’s Marland Yarde and Zach Kibirige set to start on the wings, with Wales international Jonah Holmes completing the line-up at fullback.A limited number of tickets remain for the fixture, starting from £22 adult / £8 junior*. PLEASE CLICK HERE to purchase now.BARBARIAN F.C. SIDE TO FACE NORTHAMPTON SAINTSSaturday 26 November 2022cinch Stadium at Franklin’s GardensKick-off: 3pm15 Jonah Holmes14 Zach Kibirige13 Luther Burrell12 Owen Williams11 Marland Yarde10 Danny Cipriani9 Gareth Simpson1 Murray McCallum2 Hika Elliot3 Brok Harris4 Graham Kitchener5 Elliott Stooke6 Ben Morris7 Olly Robinson8 Tom Wood (c)Replacements:16 Tevita Ikanivere17 Ben Harris18 Elliot Millar-Mills19 Lloyd Ashley20 Will Boyde21 Francois Hougaard22 Mali Hingano23 Perry Humphreys

Northampton Saints legend Tom Wood will lead out Barbarian F.C. at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens for tomorrow afternoon’s clash between the two sides.

The world-famous invitational side will lock horns with the men in Black, Green and Gold for the first time in history on Saturday (kick-off: 3pm), and with Saints close to full strength for the exhibition match, the BaaBaas have selected a side packed with star quality to run out in Northampton.

Wood captains the team and lines up in the No.8 jersey alongside Cardiff Rugby flanker Olly Robinson and former Wasps back row Ben Morris.

Elliott Stooke and Graham Kitchener – formerly of Wasps and Worcester Warriors respectively – are selected in the engine room, with an explosive front row including Scotland international Murray McCallum, All Black Hika Elliot, and Stormers tighthead Brok Harris.

Former England international Danny Cipriani starts at fly-half, with Gareth Simpson in the No.9 jersey and Wales international Owen Williams filling a second playmaker role at inside centre.

Outside the former Worcester player in midfield is another Saints legend in Luther Burrell, who runs out at the Gardens berth for one final appearance in the UK before making the switch to Japan.

And the Barbarians’ back-three is full of pace and power with England’s Marland Yarde and Zach Kibirige set to start on the wings, with Wales international Jonah Holmes completing the line-up at fullback.

A limited number of tickets remain for the fixture, starting from £22 adult / £8 junior*. PLEASE CLICK HERE to purchase now.

BARBARIAN F.C. SIDE TO FACE NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Saturday 26 November 2022
cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 3pm

15 Jonah Holmes
14 Zach Kibirige
13 Luther Burrell
12 Owen Williams
11 Marland Yarde
10 Danny Cipriani
9 Gareth Simpson

1 Murray McCallum
2 Hika Elliot
3 Brok Harris
4 Graham Kitchener
5 Elliott Stooke
6 Ben Morris
7 Olly Robinson
8 Tom Wood (c)

Replacements:
16 Tevita Ikanivere
17 Ben Harris
18 Elliot Millar-Mills
19 Lloyd Ashley
20 Will Boyde
21 Francois Hougaard
22 Mali Hingano
23 Perry Humphreys

Content & Images from – Northampton Saints Rugby


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Premiership

TEAM NEWS | Sale Sharks v Bristol Bears

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Sam James makes his 200th Sharks appearance, Cobus Wiese and Akker van der Merwe return from injury and Rouban Birch and Kieran Wilkinson are rewarded for their cup heroics with places on the replacements bench for the Saturday lunchtime Premiership clash with Bristol Bears (KO 1pm – live on BT Sport).

Jean-Luc and Dan du Preez also return to the Sharks line-up after featuring for South Africa A, while Jono Ross captains the side for the round 11 showdown with Pat Lam’s men.

Springbok hooker Van der Merwe returns to the number two shirt after six weeks out with an ankle injury picked up against London Irish in October, and he takes his place in the front row between the experienced pair of Ross Harrison and Nick Schonert.

Wiese also returns from ankle lay-off to partner Josh Beaumont in the second row, while the Du Preez twins line-up alongside skipper Ross in the back row.

Gus Warr lines up again at scrum-half alongside fly-half Rob du Preez, and in the centres, Sam Hill starts with the ever-present Sam James, who plays his 200th game for his boyhood club.

Tom Roebuck and Byron McGuigan start on the wings, with full-back Joe Carpenter making up a pacy back three.

Academy products Tommy Taylor and fit-again Simon McIntyre provide front-row cover on the bench, along with Joe Jones, who will be playing his 50th Sharks game if he takes the field.

Sam Dugdale and Friday night’s Premiership Rugby Cup player of the match Birch cover the rest of the forwards.

Joe Simpson, Wilkinson and Arron Reed are the backs replacements.

Sale Sharks Starting XV:

15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Sam James, 12. Sam Hill, 11. Byron McGuigan, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Ross Harrison, 2. Akker van der Merwe, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Josh Beaumont, 6. JL du Preez, 7. Jono Ross ©, 8. Daniel du Preez

Replacements:

16. Tommy Taylor, 17. Simon McIntyre, 18. Joe Jones, 19. Rouban Birch, 20. Sam Dugdale, 21. Joe Simpson, 22. Kieran Wilkinson, 23. Arron Reed.

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby


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Premiership

Falcons forward heads to France

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Thursday 24 November 2022

Lock-forward George Merrick has left Newcastle Falcons to join a French club with immediate effect.

The 30-year-old has made 13 appearances since joining from Worcester Warriors in the summer of 2021, and leaves with the thanks and best wishes of the club.

Newcastle Falcons head coach Dave Walder said: “George has been offered an exciting playing opportunity over in France and we wish him all the best for his move.

“He has been a positive presence around our squad during his time here, and on behalf of the entire coaching team I’d like to thank him for his contribution.”

Merrick said: “I’ve loved my time in Newcastle with a great bunch of boys, and I’m looking forward now to this new challenge.”

Source – Newcastle Falcons Rugby


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