Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'We Don't Fear Montpellier' Wilson Has Faith in Falcons for Challenge Cup Clash

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'We Don't Fear Montpellier' Wilson Has Faith in Falcons for Challenge Cup Clash

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith

MARK Wilson insists Montpellier hold no fear for his Newcastle Falcons side, as Kingston Park plays host to French visitors this evening.

The 21-year-old back-rower lines up for the Falcons as they search for the win that would keep their Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final hopes alive, going into next weekend's final group game in the French town of Bourgoin.

Montpellier stormed to a 32-8 victory over Newcastle when the two sides met in the south of France at the beginning of the campaign, but Wilson insisted the result at Stade Yves du Manoir would have no major bearing on their thinking as they prepare for tonight's rematch.

"We're a better team than we were back in October, our discipline is a lot tighter and we're much more organised in defence," he said.

"I'm sure we'll reflect that with the performance this time round, and it's a great chance for us.

"After the game in France, the lads spoke among ourselves about how excited we were about the prospect of playing them again at home.

"We were obviously gutted about the result, but we had no fear about anything they did. It was our own discipline that let us down and allowed them to keep the scoreboard ticking over, then it was our defensive errors which paved the way for their tries.

"We're excited about putting it right though - there's nothing to be scared of and we just want to give it a good go.

"The conditions should hopefully work to our advantage, and when they step off the flight from the sunny south of France into the North East winter weather, we might gain a bit of an upper hand."

Having shone at No 8 in last Friday's 19-19 draw with Sale Sharks after a late callup to the side, Wilson said: "I knew Ally Hogg was struggling with his back, so I was told to just prepare for the game as if I was starting.

"I'd been told they were going to assess him on matchday, but when I hadn't heard anything I was a bit disappointed and just presumed I wasn't involved. Eventually though as the day went on I got the phone call to say I was starting, and it was excitement from there until the kick-off. …

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