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Stuart: Bristol win is just the start for us



Tuesday 4 October 2022

Sam Stuart insists his Newcastle Falcons side are not getting carried away with one victory as they prepare to host Saracens in Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership action.

The scrum-half made his comeback from a long-term foot injury by playing the full 80 minutes in Friday’s 30-15 victory over previously-unbeaten Bristol Bears, with the Falcons recording a four-try bonus point into the bargain.

“We beat Bristol but it’s only one game, and I’m sure Bristol will be the first to say they didn’t play very well on the night,” said Stuart, who has made 63 appearances since joining from Richmond in the summer of 2017.

“Things clicked for us but it was only one win out of four games, and Sarries will be a different challenge this weekend.

“It’s just how we adapt to that and what consistency we can deliver that will determine the outcome, but we’ve at least shown now that we can do it.

“We had two tag lines in the week which were ‘attitude and intensity’, and I think both were there in volumes against Bristol. We had attitude in terms of things like our kick-chase, and the intensity of our tackle contest.

“The discipline across the board was much better even though we had two yellow cards, and then the discipline to score pretty much every time we were in the red zone.”

Even with a nine-day turnaround Stuart says there is no time for he and his team-mates to rest on their laurels, with unbeaten Saracens arriving in a rich seam of form following their own demolition of champions Leicester Tigers last weekend.

“There are no easy games in the Gallagher Premiership, and that’s why everyone loves it,” he said.

“Regardless of who you’ve just beaten or lost against, the next game is always going to be tough. Some teams bring with them a bit of prestige if you beat them, and Saracens would definitely be one of those.

“They’ve been very good for a long time now and they’re looking really good again this season. They hammered Leicester last weekend and are probably smarting from losing the Premiership final in June, but as we saw down at Worcester emotion can play a massive part on the day.

“Saracens kick the ball a lot and they’re very good at it, but they seem to be playing a bit more this season. They’re efficient in everything they do, and when they’re in the right areas they’ll play.”

Focusing predominantly on his own team rather than the opposition, he added: “We’re probably still finding our own strengths a little bit, and with the changes we’ve had on the coaching team I think that’s understandable.

“Dave Walder has gone from doing the attack to defence, Mark Laycock has gone from doing skills to running the attack and it takes time for them to imprint what they want.

“I’d say we’ve got an ambitious style of play, allied to that traditional North East grunt which people probably know us for. We’ve always had a good maul, our scrum is getting there and it’s not a bad balance.

“The thing like Dave said after the Bristol game is to make it the norm rather than the exception, so that’s the big challenge for us.

“There’s an obvious feelgood factor and a certain amount of plaudits that come with beating the top-of-the-league team on national TV, but when we’re sat there on one win from four games we can’t be thinking it’s job done.

“This is just the start for us.”

Click here to buy tickets for Sunday’s 3pm home kick-off against Saracens.

Read an exclusive in-depth profile with Sam Stuart in Sunday’s free digital match programme.

Source – Newcastle Falcons Rugby


Gloucester Rugby issue injury update



Gloucester Rugby

Gloucester Rugby can regrettably confirm that Albert Tuisue, Val Rapava-Ruskin and Giorgi Kveseladze have all suffered season-ending injuries.

Albert Tuisue sustained a significant hamstring injury in the Cherry & Whites game against Leicester Tigers on Sunday 12 March, whilst Giorgi Kveseladze suffered a similar injury on international duty with Georgia.

In-form prop, Val Rapava-Ruskin, will undergo surgery following a knee injury.

Chief Operating Officer, Alex Brown, spoke of his disappointment to lose more key players.

“We’ve been hugely unfortunate this season with the injuries we’ve sustained and losing three more players in such a short space of time is another significant blow to the squad.

“Albert, Val and Giorgi have all played key parts in our season and they’re equally disappointed to be ruled out for the remainder of the 2022/23 campaign.

“They’ve all already started their respective returns with our on-site medical team, and we’re wishing them all a speedy recovery.”

Content & Images from – Gloucester Rugby

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TEAM NEWS | London Irish v Sale Sharks



George Ford and Raffi Quirke return to the Sharks starting XV while Dan du Preez is named as a replacement after missing the last ten matches, as Alex Sanderson makes two changes to his side to face in-form London Irish at the Gtech Community Stadium on Sunday (KO 1pm, live on PRTV).

Ford’s return from England duty means Rob du Preez shifts to outside centre while Quirke replaces Gus Warr, who had started the last ten Premiership games.

After beating Saracens in front of a full house at the AJ Bell Stadium, the Sharks Director of Rugby has picked an unchanged pack for the crucial clash with Declan Kidney’s men.

That means Bevan Rodd and Coenie Oosthuizen will line up either side of Ewan Ashman once again in the front-row.

Cobus Wiese and Jonny Hill continue their formidable partnership in the second-row and with Ben Curry still on England duty, in-form Sam Dugdale retains his starting spot at openside flanker alongside Jono Ross and Jean-Luc du Preez.

It’s all change at half-back with Ford returning from England duty to partner scrum-half Quirke.

Ryan Mills retains his starting spot at 12 and he’ll partner Rob du Preez in the centres.

And in an unchanged back three, Tom Roebuck will line up alongside Tom O’Flaherty and Joe Carpenter, who made six line breaks against Sarries. That was the most by a single player in a Premiership match this season and the most by a Sharks player since Opta began recording stats in 2008.

Tommy Taylor, Nick Schonert and Simon McIntyre make up the front row replacements, while Dan du Preez and Josh Beaumont cover the rest of the forwards.

Luke James, Warr and Arron Reed are the backs replacements.

Speaking ahead of the game, Alex said he’s expecting another big test against London Irish after last week’s nailbiter against his former club.

He said: “Irish are just a really good team. They’ve won five of their last six and they probably should have won the other one too. They’re dangerous when teams get loose and ragged in terms of their defensive shape.

“We’ll have to work hard in defence so we don’t give them anything in the wide channels.”

Sale Sharks starting XV:

15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Rob du Preez, 12. Ryan Mills, 10. George Ford, 9. Raffi Quirke; 1. Bevan Rodd, 2. Ewan Ashman, 3. Coenie Oosthuizen, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Jonny Hill, 6. Jono Ross ©, 7. Sam Dugdale, 8. Jean-Luc du Preez.


16. Tommy Taylor, 17. Simon McIntyre, 18. Nick Schonert, 19. Josh Beaumont, 20. Dan du Preez, 21. Gus Warr, 22. Luke James, 23. Arron Reed.

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby

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Internationals return for Falcons trip



Gloucester Rugby

Gloucester Rugby return to action with an away clash against Newcastle Falcons tomorrow evening.

George Skivington has been boosted by the return of his international contingent, as the Cherry & Whites look to bounce back from defeat to Leicester Tigers last time out.

Wales’ Louis Rees-Zammit returns to the side after featuring for Wales in the last three rounds of the Guinness Six Nations.

Rees-Zammit joins Ollie Thorley, who penned a fresh deal at Kingsholm last week, and Lloyd Evans in the back three.

Former Falcon, Chris Harris, partners Seb Atkinson in midfield.

Stephen Varney has also been on international duty, he played all-bar-one of Italy’s Six Nations fixtures. He starts inside Santi Carreras in the half-backs.

There is just one singular change in the pack from the fixture against Leicester two weeks ago. 

Harry Elrington replaces Val Rapava-Ruskin at loosehead, joining Seb Blake and Kirill Gotovtsev in the front row, with Freddie Clarke and Matias Alemanno slotting in behind them in the second row.

Jordy Reid, Ruan Ackermann and captain Lewis Ludlow form the back row once more.

Argentinian international, Mayco Vivas, is set for his Cherry & Whites debut from the bench.

Vivas joins Henry Walker, Jamal Ford-Robsinon, Cam Jordan and Jack Clement as cover for the forward positions, with Charlie Chapman, Billy Twelvetrees and Tom Seabrook in reserve for the backs.

The match kicks off at 7.45pm at Kingston Park and will be broadcast live on BT Sport.

Gloucester Rugby |

Starting XV

15. Lloyd Evans*

14. Louis Rees-Zammit*

13. Chris Harris

12. Seb Atkinson

11. Ollie Thorley*

10. Santi Carreras

9. Stephen Varney*


1. Harry Elrington

2. Seb Blake*

3. Kirill Gotovtsev

4. Freddie Clarke*

5. Matias Alemanno

6. Jordy Reid

7. Lewis Ludlow (c)*

8. Ruan Ackermann



16. Henry Walker*

17. Mayco Vivas

18. Jamal Ford-Robinson

19. Cam Jordan*

20. Jack Clement*

21. Charlie Chapman*

22. Billy Twelvetrees

23. Tom Seabrook*

*Denotes academy graduate.

Content & Images from – Gloucester Rugby

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