Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Andrew Has Faith in Young Falcons

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Andrew Has Faith in Young Falcons

Article excerpt

Byline: By Stuart Rayner

Alan Hansen once infamously claimed "you can't win anything with kids" in English football's Premiership, but with the demands of the international game seemingly increasing by the season it is becoming almost impossible to win anything without them in rugby union's equivalent.

With the autumn internationals adding to the problems of a lengthening injury list, the depth of Newcastle Falcons' squad will be severely tested in November as they look to take advantage of four consecutive league games to lift themselves from 11th in the table.

Andy Long, Stuart Grimes, Geoff Parling, Hall Charlton, Andy Perry, Mark Mayerhofler, Colin Charvis and Jamie Noon all miss today's clash at Gloucester but Falcons' director of rugby Rob Andrew is putting his faith in the likes of James Hoyle, James Grindal, Mike McCarthy and Andy Buist in their absence.

"We have a lot of young, talented players and we don't have any problems blooding them," Andrew said.

"You have to have faith in your young players and at some point put them on the field.

"Keeping them cocooned in the training ground or the academy isn't the answer.

"So far this season I think all the young players we've introduced have been able to show what they can do because they've come into a reasonably strong environment."

Jonny Wilkinson and Owen Finegan will be there to provide guidance at Kingsholm, traditionally a bogey ground for the Falcons, and Andrew has told those youngsters not involved today their chance will come.

"Now it's James Hoyle's turn," he said, "and no doubt at some point in the season it's going to be the turn of Lee Dickson, Dave Wilson and Jason Smith.

"That's the opportunity players want. There's a responsibility on them to take it but on us as well to help them.

"You have faith in the players in the squad because you know for certain at some point during the season you're going to rely on all of them. …

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