Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tiesi Relief as He Finally Gets Debut; Frustration over as Gonzalo Returns from Injury

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tiesi Relief as He Finally Gets Debut; Frustration over as Gonzalo Returns from Injury

Article excerpt

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

GONZALO Tiesi has spoken of his relief at finally making his Newcastle Falcons debut, the Argentina centre having been in drydock since arriving in the autumn. The 28-year-old tore his hamstring playing against England at Twickenham just days after announcing his mid-season move, watching on through a torturous two-month period in which the Falcons' only wins came against Italian and Romanian opposition.

Tiesi's long-awaited debut saw the Pumas cap playing the first 50 minutes of Friday's 29-0 home win over Newport Gwent Dragons, making intelligent defensive decisions and taking care of the basics in attack.

Registering a four-try bonus point for only the second time this season, Tiesi said: "It was great to finally get out there, because it was frustrating to turn up at a new club and not be able to play for the first two months.

"Nobody would ever want that and it was not the best start to my Newcastle career, but I have worked really hard on my rehab and the medical staff have been superb in everything they have done with me.

"The first game was always a big target, and I was delighted to get through the match without any problems."

Director of rugby Dean Richards was more than satisfied by the debut contribution of his South American signing, a man he knows well after working together during their time at Harlequins.

Tiesi, highlighting the Richards factor as a major draw, said: "I always wanted to come back to England and, knowing Dean Richards from our time together at Quins, it made my decision a lot easier. He knows me well, and vice versa, so when we first spoke about the possibility of me joining Newcastle I didn't doubt it would be a good move."

Explaining the method of the former England and Lions great, he added: "Dean is a key figure at a club, and brings that whole structure to the organisation.

"He allows the team and the players to develop, he is a good character and has a very winning mentality in terms of his ambitions for each game and the longer-term picture. …

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