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Walder reacts to Saracens loss



Jamie Blamire scored a second-half try for the Falcons

Sunday 9 October 2022

Newcastle Falcons head coach Dave Walder made no excuses for Sunday’s 34-14 defeat to unbeaten Gallagher Premiership leaders Saracens.

The Kingston Park clash had been largely one-way traffic until the visitors had Mako Vunipola red-carded midway through the second half, with Newcastle offering late resistance while never really threatening the outcome of the contest.

“We had a nine-day turnaround so we can’t complain about lack of preparation time, and as coaches we’ve got to sit down and talk about whether we did certain things right with the time that we had – myself included,” said Walder.

“Did we give them too much time off at the start of the week?

“Did we overload them with too much information because of the extra preparation time, or did we not give them enough?

“Did we pick the right team?

“We can talk about the need to rotate some guys who have played a lot of rugby, but then there’s the debate about not changing a winning team and wanting to use that momentum from the Bristol game.

“Did we get that right?

“I don’t know, speaking so soon after the game, but we’ll have to sit down and pick through it because these are all important decisions and we need to be getting them right.”

Crediting Sunday’s victors, who had put 51 points past champions Leicester Tigers the week before, Walder said: “Saracens are a really good, well-coached side with loads of superstars, but even taking all of that into consideration we’re extremely disappointed with what we put out there today.

“We gave them a 14-point start after six or seven minutes, and against a side as good as them it’s extremely hard to come back from that.

“They showed why they’re the top team in the league because they’re completely ruthless, and really clinical in everything they do. They’re moving the ball more than they have done in recent years, they’ve got a great recruitment strategy which allows them to add to what they’ve got and they’re really well-drilled.

“Today wasn’t a representation of what we’re about. We weren’t good enough at what we wanted to do and we gave them too many ins. We didn’t challenge them, our carrying was too passive, we didn’t look we had any energy about us and as a coaching group we have to look at why that was.

“You can quibble about the odd refereeing call or whatever, but when you lose by as much as we did today you can’t look to that as the reason for the defeat. It’s all about ourselves, how we started the game and why we were so sluggish against the best team in the league.

“What did we get wrong as coaches, and how do we make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again?

“We’ve got a six-day turnaround to Northampton away so we don’t have a huge amount of time, but maybe there’s an element of freshening up needed to the team or looking at changing how we’re doing certain things.”

Asked about the red card handed out to Mako Vunipola for a no-arms clear-out on Tom Penny, the Falcons boss said: “In the modern game it’s probably a red card, and once they start slowing things down on the big screen they never look great.

“The real question is why you would ever feel the need to clear somebody out like that in a game, but Mako shook hands with Tom Penny and Mateo Carreras when he got sent off so I don’t think there was any bad feeling or real damage done, thankfully.

“By then the game was gone for us, we were just trying to chase a bonus point but we were too far off to make that happen in the time we had remaining, which is really disappointing.”

Newcastle Falcons’ next home game is on Saturday November 5 when Bath make the Gallagher Premiership trip to Kingston Park Stadium.

Click here to buy tickets for the 3pm kick-off.

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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