Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kingston Park Filled to Capacity to Witness a Very Big Day FORWELCH; THE PREVIEW: Newcastle Falcons V Leicester Tomorrow, 3.00, Kingston Park

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kingston Park Filled to Capacity to Witness a Very Big Day FORWELCH; THE PREVIEW: Newcastle Falcons V Leicester Tomorrow, 3.00, Kingston Park

Article excerpt

NEWCASTLE Falcons captain Will Welch will make his 200th competitive club appearance during tomorrow's Aviva Premiership visit of Leicester Tigers.

The 3.00 kick-off will be in front of a sold-out Kingston Park Stadium for the first time since May 2008.

A capacity crowd of 10,200 is expected to flock to watch the Falcons as they look to continue their storming start to the campaign.

The Kingston Park club go into the weekend fourth in the league and top of their European Challenge Cup group.

Delighted to have reached a double century at the age of just 27, Newcastle-born flanker Welch said: "It's a great honour to have played so many games for the Falcons, especially bearing in mind I used to come here as a supporter when I was a kid.

"I used to stand on the North Terrace or sit in the West Stand.

"I've seen loads of great games here as a fan and it's amazing to have been able to play in so many.

"Hopefully, I have a lot more left in me yet but it's great to reach 200 and I count it is a privilege every time I pull on the shirt."

Buoyed by the prospect of running out in front of a full house, Welch added: "Myself and all the lads are really looking forward to playing in front of what looks like being a sell-out crowd.

"The place is absolutely rocking when there are 7,000 people here, so it will be phenomenal to have another two thousand in and to have it sold out.

"Our ground isn't massive but you get a heck of a noise going when it's anywhere near full and it really will make a huge difference to the boys."

Fly-half Toby Flood will start his first league game since rejoining the club, while Sinoti Sinoti, Vereniki Goneva, Sonatane Takulua and Juan Pablo Socino come back into the back line after missing last week's 21-20 victory at Bordeaux-Begles.

Hooker Kyle Cooper, flanker Mark Wilson and No 8 Nili Latu also return in the pack.

Welch is confident the team can take their European form back into the league after a Premiership return of four wins from six.

He added: "The plan was always to keep our momentum going during the European window and we managed to do that by beating the Dragons and having a really good win against a strong Bordeaux side over in France. …

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