Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tait: Redford Is a Nuisance; Falcons New Boy Backed to Be Demon in the Tackle

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tait: Redford Is a Nuisance; Falcons New Boy Backed to Be Demon in the Tackle

Article excerpt

Byline: Nick Purewal

ALAN Tait has signed dogged back-rower Redford Pennycook to help Newcastle Falcons end their breakdown struggles.

The Falcons completed the deal to bring 24-year-old Pennycook to Kingston Park today on a one-year contract, taking their summer signings tally to 11.

Head coach Tait admits Newcastle failed to dominate the vital tackle area last term, struggling to impose sufficient pressure over the ball.

Expecting England Under-18 cap Pennycook to bolster that crucial aspect of his side's defensive armoury, Tait said he was unsatisfied with last term's backrow efforts in the contact situation. Pennycook has amassed 58 Bristol appearances since his debut for the West Country club back in the 2006-7 campaign as a part-timer, and Tait believes his latest capture can enhance a steadily-growing reputation at Kingston Park this term.

Backing 'Red' to make his name by making a Premiership nuisance of himself, Falcons boss Tait expects Pennycook to be ready for a full-season top-flight slog.

Pennycook's sparkling Championship form might have alerted many to his top-level potential, but former British Lions and Scotland centre Tait is most impressed with his Premiership work in a struggling side when Bristol were relegated two seasons ago.

Tait believes Pennycook's performances in the 2008-9 campaign highlight his readiness for a long, hard slog - and backed the new Falcons addition to handle the pressure of a huge challenge ahead.

"We were second best in that department a lot of the time last season and that needs to change," admitted Tait. "We needed reinforcement in that area and I'm delighted that Redford's agreed to take up the challenge of coming to Kingston Park.

"I wanted a real demon at the contact area, and hopefully he will bring that to the club. He's a typical openside, a real gritty ball-winner. …

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