Lower division a shock to Newcastle squad - Richards

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards has said the Championship environment will come as a culture shock to some players.

Falcons have never played outside of the Premiership in the professional era, but were relegated to the second tier last season.

Richards told BBC Look North: "There is a difference between the divisions.

"There will be things that will be totally different to what players have been used to, and it may affect them."

He added: "It is down to the style and the facilities, there are lot of hard games."

The Kingston Park club began their bid to return to the top flight at the first attempt with a 37-20 victory against Bristol at the Memorial Stadium.

But they are in good hands with Richards, who guided his previous club Harlequins out of England's second tier (then called National Division One) at the first time of asking back in 2006.

Falcons face another fixture on the road this weekend with a trip to the capital to face London Scottish, before the first home match of the season against Doncaster on Friday 14 September.

"There will be sides that we find easy, and sides are harder than that [Bristol]. It will depend on conditions, the weather on the day, the quality of the pitch and the referee," Richards added.

"I'm looking forward to getting as many people in the ground as possible, we'll have some fun this year, play some rugby and score some tries."

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