Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Hatakeyama Won't Be Sent to Coventry, Insists Wells; Falcons in No Rush to Give New Japanese Signing His Debut We Will Keep Our Cool This Time, Vows Scott

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Hatakeyama Won't Be Sent to Coventry, Insists Wells; Falcons in No Rush to Give New Japanese Signing His Debut We Will Keep Our Cool This Time, Vows Scott

Article excerpt

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

JAPANESE signing Kensuke Hatakeyama will not be rushed into a Newcastle Falcons debut at Wasps tomorrow.

The experienced prop landed on Tyneside last weekend to help solve their tight-head shortage, Scotland's Jon Welsh having been ruled out for the season after toe surgery.

Hatakeyama was a spectator at Kingston Park for Sunday's 26-19 victory over Harlequins but will not feature in the squad when they make the Aviva Premiership trip to Coventry.

Head coach John Wells explained the decision, saying: "No, he will not be in the mix just yet.

"He has only just landed in the country last weekend and this is a relatively short week with just two training days where we can get outside.

"He has contributed really well during those sessions, his English is pretty good and he has a great sense of humour.

"He is fitting really well into the squad but let's be realistic. We have guys who are still struggling after eight months of being here, so to ask him to do it after eight days is not an easy thing."

On the longer-term influence of the Suntory Sungoliath man, Wells added: "He is an international player with a lot of test experience.

"He is smart enough and his background suggests he is keen as mustard to quickly sort himself out here.

"He will learn his roles and learn his jobs and the quicker he shows he is getting that right the sooner we will have him playing."

Tongan Taione Vea started at tighthead last weekend with Paddy Ryan coming on from the bench, Wells saying the strength of Newcastle's set-piece has helped sway their decision.

He said: "The fact our scrum went pretty well last weekend means the urgency to get him out there is not perhaps quite as stark.

"It is also fair to say our scrummage at home tends to go pretty well in general, because we are comfortable on a different type of scrummaging surface to when you play on grass. …

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