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Newcastle Falcons - Premiership 2021 - 2022

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 24 Jul - 0:33

First topic message reminder :

Manager: Dean Richards
Head Coach: Dave Walder
Forwards Coach: Micky Ward
Defence Coach: Nick Easter
Attack Coach: Dave Walder
Lineout Coach: Scott Macleod
Skills Coach: Mark Laycock

Current Squad:
Forwards
Props:
TH - Logo Mulipola, Mark Tampin, Richard Palframan, Connor Kenny
Oscar Caudle  TH(Senior Academy & Tynedale)

LH - Adam Brocklebank, Trevor Davison, Kyle Cooper
Conrad Cade (Senior Academy), Phil Brantingham (Senior Academy), Mark Dormer (Senior Academy)

Hookers: George McGuigan, Jamie Blamire, Charlie Maddison, Robbie Smith
Ollie Fletcher (Senior Academy)

Second Rows: Sean Robinson, Marco Fuser, Greg Peterson, Will Montgomery, George Merrick, Matthew Dalton

Back Row:
6&7's: Mark Wilson, Will Welch, Gary Graham, Connor Collett, Carl Fearns, Rob Farrar, Josh Basham   
Freddie Lockwood (Senior Academy), Marcus Tiffen (Senior Academy), Guy Pepper (Senior Academy)

8: Philip van der Walt, Calum Chick, Tom Marshall

Backs
SH's: Louis Schreuder, Micky Young, Sam Stuart, Cameron Nordi Kelemeti,
James Blackett (Senior Academy)

Fh's: Joel Hodgson, Brett Connon, Will Haydon Wood
Louie Johnson (Senior Academy)[/i]

Centres:
12's: Luther Burrell, George Wacokecoke, Pete Lucock,  
13's: Matias Orlandi,  
Chidera Obonna (Senior Academy), Zach Kerr (Senior Academy), Ewan Greenlaw (Senior Academy)

Wing: Adam Radwan, Mateo Carreras, Ben Stevenson (and Centre), Nathan Earle, Ollie Lindsay Hague (Short term Contract)
Morgan Passman (Senior Academy), Matty Ward (Senior Academy),

FB's: Mike Brown, Tom Penny, Alex Tait,
Iwan Stephens (Senior Academy)


Last edited by GeordieFalcon on Tue 7 Sep - 21:47; edited 46 times in total

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 22 Sep - 18:53

Finally confirmed that Jon Welsh is training with another team.

No more front rows coming in.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Tue 22 Sep - 19:56

GeordieFalcon wrote:Finally confirmed that Jon Welsh is training with another team.

No more front rows coming in.

Have they said who he is training with?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 22 Sep - 20:54

No, not a thing. But hes not with us anymore.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Tue 22 Sep - 22:01

GeordieFalcon wrote:No, not a thing. But hes not with us anymore.

Probably for the best. He has not been fit for Newcastle over the last two years and that could be something neither side wants to release in terms of health.

Hopefully he can be revitalised elsewhere and Newcastle can get a good prop. Shame as Edinburgh has surplus in Bhatti (LH) and McCallum (TH) but after the experiences with Welsh I doubt Newcastle will want to risk it again!

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 23 Sep - 0:46

Exactly, he was very good for us...but has missed effectively, two years of rugby.

I just hope we have enough in the front row...im just not convinced. Certainly at LH.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 23 Sep - 1:12

Mark Wilson announced new Captain. Obvious and great choice.

We have a real good core of leaders in their now. ..

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 23 Sep - 20:49

Well we have signed Bedford Hooker , 21yo Robbie Smith.

The article also says that Kyle Cooper the South African hooker we have, has been switched over to Loosehead prop. Our new Bobby Vickers.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Wed 23 Sep - 22:32

Why are Newcastle asking a soon to be 32 year old to swap position, weakening the hooker spot and leaving LH potentially undermanned?

Surely it is easier to find a LH with potential in the Championship than go through all this

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 23 Sep - 23:49

They did it with Vickers to decent (not brilliant) effect. Clearly they see some value in it and i firmly believe Cooper is now 3rd choice behind Blamire and Mcguigan anyway. Add in big Maddison and this new lad at 21 year old...and we're set for hookers.

If he can scrummage...with his aggressive carrying he could be a interesting project.

Im not sure they are weakening the hooker spot to be honest. I think we're very strong there, and this young lad looks a pretty good prospect aswell.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 24 Sep - 19:35

Bateman was well into his twenties when he switched to be fair. Around 27 when he switched to tighthead then another year or two before he settled at loosehead. Younger than Cooper but well on the way through his career.

Bateman is a big bloke and was a good scrummaging hooker which will help the switch but both those definitely apply to Cooper as well. At the end of the day if it doesn't work Cooper won't forgot how to play hooker after years of it. It also opens up the possibility of him playing prop but throwing into the lineout if any of your hookers are struggling there.

It makes more sense than Ashley Johnson switching to hooker around the same age which I never got my head around given how good he was in the back row for Wasps.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 24 Sep - 19:40

Seem to recall Wasps doing the same with Tom Lindsay too.

I really don't understand how we have 8 hookers, 20 centres and abut 3 props. Deano is just getting worse and worse at recruitment. Burrell for gods sake??

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Post by king_carlos Thu 24 Sep - 21:06

Ah Tom Lindsay. He was an absolute bull in the loose but a dire hooker at set-piece. Arguably a casualty of England searching for athletic and high work rate back rows who had as many 'match involvements' as possible in terms of tackles, hitting rucks, etc. Prioritising volume of work of the effectiveness of it.

That seems to be changing again to be fair. Lindsay could have been a brutal Premiership blindside in a well balanced pack.

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Post by LondonTiger Thu 24 Sep - 21:09

Listening to Semore Kurdi this morning, unless the purported "rescue" package being offered to sport gives sizeable funds to rugby, Falcons could be one of the handful of teams being predicted to go bust.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 24 Sep - 21:15

i have no doubt LT.

It not a good situation for many clubs...and other sports...half the football lower leagues are in trouble

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Post by king_carlos Thu 24 Sep - 22:43

Rumours are that Falcons, Worcester and Wasps are the most likely to go bust with no fans for at least the start of the 2020/21 season. The bigger issue for most clubs might not be when they can get some fans through the door at reduced capacity but rather when they can return to full capacity. As a Tigers fan it's the later, more medium term effect of long term reduced capacity that concerns me.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 28 Sep - 21:20

We've signed Sarries fh manu Vunipola on loan for a season

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Post by Hazel Sapling Mon 28 Sep - 21:40

Quality addition. Should be the immediate starter

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Post by king_carlos Mon 28 Sep - 21:46

GeordieFalcon wrote:We've signed Sarries fh manu Vunipola on loan for a season
That's a brilliant signing for Falcons and Vunipola in my opinion. Lets the youngster show what he's got outside the Sarries systems and he's a much better 10 than any on your books.

Hasn't Brett Connon played a bit of fullback? Could be an answer at the back as well.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Mon 28 Sep - 22:12

Newcastle have a senior squad of 48, yet does not have many bolted on internationals. At this point will there be a bit more of a quantity for quality exchange going on?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 28 Sep - 22:23

Vunipola is a quality young flyhalf. Expected him to decimate the Championship with Sarries but this opportunity will be more valuable experience for him. Falcons should be able to give him an experienced 9 and midfield to support him. Very good deal for Falcons.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 28 Sep - 23:14

Also raises the interesting question - though probably not one for this thread I'll admit - of whether more Sarries players will be going on loan given there's no start date for the Championship in sight.

Itoje, George and Daly have committed to Sarries long term but are undecided on whether they will take a loan or not. Similar with Taylor and Maitland who will presumably want game time to stay fit for Scotland selection.

Most clubs in the Premiership would take Kpoku for a season as well I'd imagine.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 29 Sep - 14:47

I find this a bit of an odd move.

We have Connon, who at 24 has nailed down the 10 shirt and looked impressive in doing so. We bring in Vunipola, who I presume will be looking to be a starter and potentially disregard Connon for a season?

We have a few options already in Flood and Hodgson....I'd have preferred Mako.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 29 Sep - 16:47

I doubt Flood will get many games Sgt. Hes so past it its unreal.

Hodgson is back up. No more. And Connon and Vunipola will share the duties.

Thats if we still gave a club to support after this utterly incompetent government dont finish us and many other clubs off first...

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 29 Sep - 17:20

Connon might have nailed down the 10 shirt in the Championship but last time I saw him play in the Prem he looked very much squad material. Vunipola looks ready to lead a team. Given Falcons issues at 15 could we see;

9. Young
10. Vunipola
11. Radwan
12. Burrell
13. Orlandi
14. Sinoti Sinoti
15. Connon

Move the secondary playmaker to 15 to give the midfield some more physicality in the hope of suring up the defence. Gives you a tactical kicking option from the back as well. If Connon can get up to speed at 15 you could start moving him into 10 for more game time and develop him that way.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sat 3 Oct - 18:50

I like Connon, he's came on a lot. I'd much prefer us to be bedding our own players in than developing others....or at least get a prop!

It could be worse though....we could be Tigers Wink......at least we'll have some competition next season for the bottom spot, you boys are awful. I didn't think you could get any worse but you've proved me wrong yet again!

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 3 Oct - 19:21

The sad fact is we are actually better than post lockdown. Our decision to play second teams to give experience and look after the players fitness has made things look worse because we haven't played anyone elses second team. Quite a long time still to go before we're competitive but we are so poor it will take time to rebuild as before lockdown we had no defence, lineout, cohesive attack, kick chase and definitive style of play. The coaching staff won't fix that overnight.

I think it'll be a four way scrap for the bottom of the table between us, you guys, Worcester and LI. Worcester are a good workman like side but lack top end talent. LI have a good starting 15 but no depth in quality. You guys look short in the tight five and our players look like we've only just met in the car park pre game. Gloucester could get pulled into the relegation scrap as well as they've not looked convincing at all this season.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sat 3 Oct - 22:33

Agree with that Sam. Insane mismanagement that has happened at Tigers over the years. As an outsider I've seen it happening for years.

JB from the eggchasers is very vocal on this...if you can look past his obvious dislike of the club.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 3 Oct - 23:58

I could do a whole thread on my own about the mismanagement at Tigers but basically boils down to not wanting to make tough decisions and taking the easy short term option. 

They didn't want to sack the old boys that were running the academy into the ground until it was a national embarrassment and other factors forced their arm, even then the board avoided taking direct action and palmed the job off onto Ged Glynn who oversaw a good change. 

Rather than risk upsetting the coaching structure they took the cost effective measure of giving Cockers the DOR job and MOC the head coach job despite them having no medium or long term plan. They barely had a plan that went beyond the next game. What we needed was someone who wasn't involved in the day to day coaching as the DOR providing a long term vision but that would have been expensive and difficult so they bottled it. Even when the realised the problem they just kept looking at head coaches to work with Cockers rather than demote Cockers.

That barely scratches the surface of the problems but for me are two of the cornerstone issues.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 15 Oct - 22:26

Still nothing confirmed with Manu Vunipola....

A recent interview with young FH Brett Connon seems to suggest no more signings...so hes probably not coming.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sat 7 Nov - 0:37

Well first game in 8 months! Teams up...

Newcastle Falcons team to face Ealing Trailfinders (Saturday, 3pm, Trailfinders Sports Club)

15 Tom Arscott
14 Adam Radwan
13 Luther Burrell
12 Joel Matavesi
11 Sinoti Sinoti
10 Joel Hodgson
9 Michael Young (captain)

1 Adam Brocklebank
2 George McGuigan
3 Mark Tampin
4 Greg Peterson
5 Marco Fuser
6 Sean Robinson
7 Connor Collett
8 Gary Graham

Replacements

16 Darren Barry
17 Kyle Cooper
18 Logovi’i Mulipola
19 Rob Farrar
20 Will Welch
21 Matthew Ward
22 Toby Flood
23 Ben Stevenson
2 Charlie Maddison
3 Mike Daniels
8 Tom Marshall
9 Sam Stuart
12 Pete Lucock
15 Brett Connon

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 9 Nov - 3:05

I heard it was a tight first half and then pretty disastrous second. What happened GF?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 9 Nov - 19:50

Ah its was a fitness session Sam.

Lots of new faces making debuts, lots of academy players...we made 12 changes at half time.
Not concerned about the game.

What i am concerned at though...is that we play bath in two weeks...is that enough time to get up to speed?

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Post by king_carlos Mon 9 Nov - 20:42

GeordieFalcon wrote:Ah its was a fitness session Sam.

Lots of new faces making debuts, lots of academy players...we made 12 changes at half time.
Not concerned about the game.

What i am concerned at though...is that we play bath in two weeks...is that enough time to get up to speed?
I feel similar about Tigers playing Gloucester in 2 weeks and we aren't making the jump up after promotion, GF!

Not an ideal time for the Tigers squad to be training at home due to a covid outbreak at Oval Park. I'm feeling optimistic that Wigglesworth has signed as if we are going to play an ugly game plan then an experienced 9 whilst Youngs misses most the season will be important. Rumours we are trying to sign Luan de Bruin at tighthead are good to hear as well.

1.Brocklebank
2.McGuigan
3.Ah You
4.Fuser
5.Robinson
6.Wilson (c)
7.Hardie
8.van der Walt

9.Youngs
10.Hodgson

11.Sinoti
12.Burrell
13.Vuna
14.Radwan
15.Tait

16.Blamire
17.Cooper
18.Mulipola
19.Peterson
20.Graham
21.Schreuder
22.Flood
23.Matavesi

Reckon something like that is your first choice GF?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 9 Nov - 21:15

Like Deano knows what his first choice is Carlos....he's not selected the same side 2 games in a row since he got here!

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 9 Nov - 22:03

Perhaps the one good news for Falcons and Tigers is that right now it looks as though there will be no relegation at the end of the season.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 9 Nov - 22:35

LondonTiger wrote:Perhaps the one good news for Falcons and Tigers is that right now it looks as though there will be no relegation at the end of the season.
Sounding like Sarries and Ealing coming up to a ringfenced league.

As said before I wouldn't mind ringfencing for a short time period such as 5 years to help financial stability, stop the yo-yo-ing and allow the Championship clubs to develop. The only way that would work is if the RFU invested in the Championship though which it isn't - much the opposite even before coronavirus.

Ringfencing indefinitely will just lead to a lot more meaningless games and a less interesting league. In my opinion we had a decent sneak preview of it during the congested restart.

I wonder if Cornish Pirates will have anything to say about Ealing getting promoted as well...

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 9 Nov - 22:57

Yeah i have seen those rumours aswell...

That would be interesting. It would save our bacon.
i think our coaches are on borrowed time. Micky Ward the scrum coach and that prancing namby pamby the lineout coach.. in particular.

As to first choice: I think its difficult this season. We have new players and some that are clearly on the wane now..Sinoti being the big one there.

I think Deano's go to will be something like: Some positions as you will see...are very unclear...

1 Logo
2 McGuigan / Blamire rotating
3 Ah You / Daniels rotating
4 Robinson
5 Fuser / Peterson rotating
6 Wilson / Graham / Hardie Rotating
7 Welch / Graham / Hardie rotating
8 De Walt

9 Young
10 Connon / Flood / Hodgson - ??
11 Sinoti
12 Flood / Lucock / Wakecoke - ??
13 Orlandi / Burrell / Penny / Stevenson - ??
14 Radwan
15  Arscott

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Post by king_carlos Tue 10 Nov - 2:10

Is Cooper Vuna injured long term or just out of favour GF?

I completely forgot about Orlandi. He's a good signing for you.

I'd honestly completely forgotten about Welch too which is embarrassing given I rate him really highly. I was hopefully Tigers would pinch him years back when we seemed to be after him during every contract renewal!

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 10 Nov - 20:58

Cooper Vuna shattered his collar bone / Shoulder in his first game for us last season. I believe he is recovered but im not sure to what extent...

We have two young wingers who i have very high hopes of Matty Ward and Morgan Passman. So i hope they get gametime this season. Passman would have got some last season but suffered a horrible injury early on in the season. But apparently he is fully recovered and ready to go. He reminds me of a Ben Cohen type winger.

Yeah Orlandi should be a good signing...and we have signed that South African scrum half aswell..who i keep forgetting about. Louis Schreuder

Welch is a good solid player but seems injury prone at the moment. But thats because hes the type of player who puts his head in places he shouldnt. I guess like Lewis Moody.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 13 Nov - 2:00

Newcastle Falcons team v Ealing Trailfinders (Friday, 3pm, Kingston Park Stadium)

15 Tom Penny
14 Adam Radwan
13 Luther Burrell
12 Toby Flood
11 Ben Stevenson
10 Brett Connon
9 Michael Young (captain)

1 Trevor Davison
2 George McGuigan
3 Logovi’i Mulipola
4 Greg Peterson
5 Darren Barry
6 Sean Robinson
7 Josh Basham
8 Gary Graham

Replacements
16 Bailey Ransom
17 Kyle Cooper
18 Rodney Ah You
19 Rob Farrar
20 Connor Collett
21 Matthew Ward
22 Joel Matavesi
23 Pete Lucock
1 Adam Brocklebank
2 Jamie Blamire
3 Mark Tampin
8 Tom Marshall
9 Sam Stuart
10 Joel Hodgson
15 Tom Arscott

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 13 Nov - 2:03

And Confirmed that Nemani Negusa has left

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 17 Nov - 9:44

Well farewell Sinoti...announced as leaving today for personal reasons.

What a player...

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 17 Nov - 14:57

2 big earners off the bill at least.

Negusa never really lived up to his potential, which is a shame. Sinoti though, what a player over the years...one of our finest ever imports. He's lost a bit of pace over the last few seasons but he will be missed.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 17 Nov - 19:13

Will go down as one of the club greats...but he was definitely on the wane Sgt...and Negusa is no loss in my opinion.

However that leaves us with

Radwan
Cooper Vuna - Whos played one game for us and been out for a season
Ben Stevenson - Whos a centre / Winger and never played this level
Alex Tait - Slow as Feck Full back who dean loves putting on the wing
Tom Arscott - Who is first choice full back

Then the talented kids
Passman - Whos never played a senior game for us and recovering from a nasty injury
Matty Ward - Brilliant young England U18 winger who might get some gametime
Iwan Stephens - Young league convert - Fb but will play wing as he gets used to the game
Obonna - Big unit but a centre normally. Has played wing a few times for the U20 and academy etc.


Last edited by GeordieFalcon on Tue 17 Nov - 23:33; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 17 Nov - 21:18

I would say there is definitely space for another Winger/FB.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 17 Nov - 23:31

I think he'll have to Sgt.

i rate the kids VERY highly...but you need some experience in there. Vuna could be that but we dont know what the crack is with him,

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Post by Hazel Sapling Wed 18 Nov - 0:56

It is weird to see Newcastle so bare at wing considering Goneva, Sinoti, M Watson and Kibirige were all on the books not so long ago.

Wing is a position where young guys can come in and be effective more rapidly than the pack, but it is not like the investment has gone into the front five

Looks like Newcastle are expecting ringfencing to come in and trying to figure out a financial future without fans for a season

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 18 Nov - 1:00

What investment would that be Hazel?

To be fair Orlando looks a very solid signing who should bring something in the centres. The only area I can see us being competitive is the backrow, past that we're relegation fodder with Deano's tactics.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 18 Nov - 3:14

Orlando is on a hiding to nothing. He'll get no ball!

Hazel...mark my words the kids on the wing are special...but inexperienced. He'll have no choice but to play some of them this season.

Matty Ward and Morgan Passman are both 6 foot plus and hitting 15st+ already at 19 -20 year old so not lightweight like Adam Radwan is.

I would give them games!

But Sgt is right...its the tactics and system that dean employs that is the issue

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 18 Nov - 3:26

GeordieFalcon wrote:Orlando is on a hiding to nothing. He'll get no ball!

Someone has to crash the ball into contact on the out to in angle right?

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