Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

All Players Must Fight for Place in Revamped Falcons Side

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

All Players Must Fight for Place in Revamped Falcons Side

Article excerpt

Byline: Sean Douglass Sports Writer @Sean_Douglass

ALEX Tait believes the Newcastle Falcons now have a squad capable of scoring tries against anyone after Friday's bonuspoint victory.

The winger felt he needed to "justify" his place in the starting line-up and promptly scored the first try in the 35-8 win over Worcester.

But Tait stressed everyone must consistently perform at the peak of their powers to earn a starting berth in the upgraded Falcons set-up.

Newcastle's four-try victory saw them secure an attacking bonus point, putting them among the early pace-setters.

But they weren't the only side to start the season with a bang as an offensive explosion yielded 44 tries in just five games on Friday and Saturday.

The Falcons finished last season with the second-lowest try and points hauls in the Premiership, ahead of only relegated Bristol.

Director of rugby Dean Richards has sought to address that by adding backs Toby Flood, Maxime Mermoz, Josh Matavesi and DTH van der Merwe.

And winger Tait believes the squad now has the capability to create real problems for defences around the league.

He said: "We've got some quality players anyway and then adding those players, that adds depth. Hopefully it doesn't matter who we put out there, it's going to be a quality team that's going to be competitive and can go out there and win games and score tries.

"We've got a lot of boys who were injured like the big signings, we've got boys who didn't made the squad who are excellent players.

"You've got to stay on the top of your game if you want to get in the team."

Tait, who only played 40 minutes in the pre-season, said he was "over the moon" to get a starting role and was "pretty pumped" to get a try.

But the battle for the two wing spots could be a fierce one.

As well as Friday's starters Tait and Argentinian international Belisario Agulla, the Falcons also have two big threats in Van Der Merwe and Vereniki Goneva. …

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