New­cas­tle Fal­cons

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - RUGBY CHAMPIONS CUP -

Coach: Dean Richards Last sea­son: Didn’t qual­ify How they qual­i­fied: 4th in Premier­ship/semi-fi­nal­ists Re­cruit­ments: Like Toby Flood last sea­son, so too Ge­orge McGuigan has re­turned from Le­ices­ter to re­vive a ca­reer that once had him touted as an English hooker. Maxime Mer­moz has re­turned to Toulouse.

Key man: Niki Goneva. The 34-year-old was voted last year’s player of the sea­son and with the sidestep­ping Sinotti Sinotti gives the Fal­cons a real cut­ting edge

This sea­son’s for­mguide :LLWLL. Prospects: Four close de­feats this sea­son sug­gest they slightly over-achieved last sea­son. Mak­ing first ap­pear­ance in the Cup since they quar­ter-fi­nal­ists in 2005, they’ll do well to emerge from this group.

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