Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Grindal's Relishing Former Club's Visit

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Grindal's Relishing Former Club's Visit

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith

FORMER Falcons scrum-half James Grindal knows he is in for a busy afternoon on Saturday as Newcastle travel to face his Leicester Tigers side.

The 30-year-old made 158 appearances for the Falcons during a seven-year stay, but will line up for the Aviva Premiership champions against his old team-mates this weekend.

With England's Ben Youngs away on international duty, Grindal is primed to continue his run of starts as he prepares to square up against Newcastle livewire Micky Young.

The Nuneaton-born number nine said: "Micky is a constant threat, and that is his trademark as a player.

"He is someone who likes to snipe from scrum-half whenever he gets the opportunity. "Everyone is aware of that, but it does not make it easy to stop because he is very good at it.

"He and Jimmy Gopperth are right up there with the best half-back partnerships in the Premiership, and it will come as no great surprise we have been devoting a fair bit of time to watching those guys in our preparation this week.

"Jimmy is a deadly marksman with the boot, and he showed last week even in horrendous weather against Gloucester that he will just kick everything if you concede penalties in your own half."

Having studied the Falcons' 12-6 victory, he added: "The one thing which sticks out from the footage of the Gloucester game, and from my own experience as a Falcons player, is the spirit and togetherness the boys have up there.

"They were extremely unlucky not to beat Saracens a few weeks ago, and when you saw the Premiership highlights last weekend you could see the scenes of celebration when the final whistle came against Gloucester.

"You cannot fake that kind of team spirit, and we know they will be really fighting for each other on Saturday."

Insisting there will be no divided loyalties, however, Grindal added: "I had seven great years at Kingston Park, but when the opportunity came up to rejoin Leicester I knew it was a move I had to make. …

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