Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Welch Eyes Capital Gains at Premiership Leaders; Newcastle Captain Knows Saracens Have Few Weaknesses but Is Eager to Take Positive Attitude into Encounter in North London

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Welch Eyes Capital Gains at Premiership Leaders; Newcastle Captain Knows Saracens Have Few Weaknesses but Is Eager to Take Positive Attitude into Encounter in North London

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith Sports Writer mark.smith04@trinitymirror.com

CAPTAIN Will Welch has brushed aside any notion that Sunday's trip to Saracens is a free hit for Newcastle Falcons.

Taking on the Aviva Premiership leaders at their Allianz Park home for the first time, the flank-forward insisted the Falcons sights are set higher than the annual scrap for survival.

His director of rugby Dean Richards had removed some of the pressure on the visitors by saying they could just go down and enjoy it.

But Welch was not playing a straight bat when asked about the north London clash.

"There is a little bit of that, but at the same time I genuinely think we can go down there and get something," said Welch, preparing to meet a Sarries side without five England players.

Chris Ashton, Owen Farrell, Joel Tomkins and Vunipola brothers, Mako and Billy, are all included in the national squad to face Australia tomorrow.

Welch said: "It is the ideal time to play them, with having so many internationals away.

"While they will still have a strong side, it will be less so than if they had all their England players involved.

"If we go down there and give it our best shot, we can come away with something."

Saracens go into the weekend on top of the table, despite having been beaten for the first time this season at Northampton last Saturday.

Welch said: "I don't think they have any glaring weaknesses, and that is why they are at the top of the tree.

"They are doing well in Europe, and they have an amazing squad.

"They have enjoyed success, and all we can do is make sure we are in the best shape we can be in when we go down there.

"It will be tough because they are a good side, especially at home. That is irrespective of whether or not they are without players, and they are a great outfit.

"But instead of being content with beating the London Irishes and Worcesters, we should be aiming to do the same against Saracens.

"That will take us to the next level. in our development."

Back to full fitness after recovering from the shoulder injury picked up at Worcester three weeks ago, the skipper came through last weekend's 13-11 victory over London Irish unscathed, having appeared from the bench. …

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