Dean Richards confident for Newcastle Falcons season
Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards is confident the squad he has assembled is capable of returning to the Premiership next season.
Falcons were relegated after an appeal by London Welsh ensured they took their place in the top flight following May's Championship play-off success.
"The squad is looking good on paper," the former Harlequins and Leicester coach told BBC Look North.
"It's a squad more than capable of going back up - it's everybody's goal."
Richards, who guided Harlequins back to the Premiership at the first time of asking following their relegation in 2005, has no issue with the appeal decision that saw the Falcons demotion two months after their Premiership campaign came to an end.
"It wasn't any different to Falcons not getting the points they wanted at Wasps and being relegated," Richards added.
"They were given a tenuous lifeline, but it hasn't changed any preparations, we're all systems go.
"It hasn't changed anything, the players are here, and I'm looking forward to getting stuck in."
Meanwhile Richards has also completed the line-up of his backroom staff, notably with Peter Russell appointed as head coach.
"Peter has a great track record over in New Zealand,"
"He has developed sides in the past that have gone on to be successful and he is partnered by John Wells.
"There's a great blend there, one is flair orientated, the other not so, and Graham Steadman who has a good track record at international level - the three will guide us through.
"Then you've got Calum MacRae and Micky Ward, and a whole host of other backroom guys who are absolutely fantastic.
"It's been a breath of fresh air, and it's a great little set-up."