Newcastle back Jeremy Manning happy with utility role

Jeremy Manning
Manning missed the first six matches of the Premiership season following a hip operation this summer

Newcastle Falcons back Jeremy Manning says he is happy to play a utility role at Kingston Park following his return to match fitness after a hip operation.

The 26-year-old, who has played at fly-half and full-back for the Falcons, has returned to full training after the lay-off and bolsters Alan Tait's squad.

"I've been a big believer in not worrying where I play, as long as I'm playing," Manning told BBC Newcastle.

"I could be a versatile player and help the team out in different areas."

Falcons begin their LV= Cup campaign with the visit of Cardiff to Kingston Park on Saturday, having lost out to Gloucester in the final of last season's competition.

And the Kiwi's return could be timely for Tait amid injuries to Luke Fielden, Alex Tait and Ryan Shortland.

"I'm fully back fit, I had a fitness test with Salwa Bowen, our physio, and came through with flying colours," Manning continued.

"I put my hand up for selection this week. Hopefully [head coach] Alan Tait sees that and maybe I'll get a game sometime."

The former Munster half-back joined Falcons in June 2010, and scored three tries in 17 Premiership matches during his debut campaign.

However, an injury picked up against Harlequins in March led to post-season surgery and a watching brief for the first six games of the 2011-12 campaign.

"It is frustrating not to be involved because when you're sitting in the stand you can see a lot more than the guys can on the pitch," Manning added.

"The boys say that if you have any input, come into the changing room and let the boys know if you see something different is happening. Some games it pays off and they reap the benefits.

"From that point of view Taity tries to keep us busy, it gives us something else to do.

"All the injured guys help out, they do analysis stuff, and just try to better the team and make sure we're up to speed on our opponents."

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