Dean Richards: Newcastle Falcons 'must climb Premiership to succeed'

Director of rugby Dean Richards says Newcastle Falcons cannot consider this season a success unless they finish higher than 11th in the Premiership this term.

The division's most northerly club made progress in terms of performances, points, tries and wins in 2014-15 but were still unable to climb above London Irish, Sale and Gloucester.

London Welsh's failure to win a game ensured their top-flight status was never in jeopardy but they still remained a place above the drop when the season came to a close.

A strengthened squad has given Richards hope of bringing further improvement to Kingston Park in 2015-16.