Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Have to Rotate the Squad, Insists Coach Wells

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Have to Rotate the Squad, Insists Coach Wells

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith Twitter: @markismith50 www.facebook.com/chroniclerugby

HEAD coach John Wells says Newcastle Falcons are right to rotate their squad as they prepare for a delayed start to the Aviva Premiership.

The Rugby World Cup has meant domestic league matters are on ice until October 16, Newcastle cobbling together with Sale Sharks and Leicester Tigers to form a pre-season 'Kings of the North' competition.

Sale visit Kingston Park tomorrow in the first match of the round-robin tournament, the Falcons making nine changes from the side which beat Georgia 27-7 last Friday.

"We had our first opportunity against Georgia last weekend, and we have another on Sunday when Sale travel over," said Wells, whose squad have been working through the longest summer of training in recent memory.

"We can never get it right, in some respects.

"For countless years the coaches and administrators have been saying we should have a longer pre-season, and when we get it we hardly know what to do with it.

"We have ended up with the Kings of the North games being put into the schedule, and they are good opportunities for squads to get game time.

"As we get a little closer to the Premiership kick-off we will see selections which are approaching first-team standing, and that will take shape as the competition goes on."

Pleased with much of what he saw in last week's five-try triumph over the 13th highest ranked team in world rugby, Wells said: "We had a great start against Georgia.

"It is probably fair to say that, as well as we played, Georgia have got some work to do ahead of the World Cup if they want to be competitive.

"But you can only play the team that is up against you on the day, and we did a lot of good things as a result of the pre-season we have had. …

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