Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Townson: We Are Building; Euro Fixture Still Matters

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Townson: We Are Building; Euro Fixture Still Matters

Article excerpt

NEWCASTLE Falcons lock Glen Townson believes tonight's match in Bourgoin still serves a valuable purpose, despite both sides already being out of the European quarter-final reckoning, writes MARK SMITH.

The two teams meet in central France in the final group game of the Amlin Challenge Cup, with the Stade Pierre Rajon encounter assuming dead-rubber status.

But with a packed programme of Anglo-Welsh and Premiership action on the horizon, Townson (pictured right) said: "For us it's going to be a good building process over these next three weeks, because we have one European game left and a pair of LV= Cup matches before we're back into the Aviva Premiership.

"We're going to use those games to try a few things, and to give a number of guys the opportunity to stake their claims for a starting shirt when the league programme gets back under way."

Townson is one of four changes to the side which lost at home to Montpellier in last Friday's penultimate pool match, with the 6-0 defeat seeing plenty of scope for improvement.

"A lot of the boys were disappointed with last Friday, and we've spoken about it with the coaches this week," said the 24-year-old, who joined the Falcons from Championship side Doncaster in the summer. "We know we let ourselves down against Montpellier, individually and collectively, but we've worked hard this week and we hope we can bounce back in Bourgoin."

Townson joins a Newcastle side also boosted by the return of Ed Williamson, the flanker who has spent the past twoand-a-half months on the sidelines after suffering a serious back injury in the early stages of the home win over Ospreys on November 6. Elsewhere in the side there are starts for fly-half Joel Hodgson and centre James Fitzpatrick, with the pair having shone from the bench in the latter stages of last Friday's home defeat.

If there is to be a psychological edge for this evening's encounter then it rests with the Falcons, who claimed a 22-16 win when Bourgoin visited Kingston Park back in October. …

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