Ally Hogg return delights Newcastle boss Dean Richards

No let up from Falcons - Richards

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards has been boosted by the return of Scotland international back-row forward Ally Hogg to first-team action.

Hogg, 30, was included in the squad and came off the bench during last weekend's win at Leeds Carnegie.

"We've missed Ally in a lot of ways," Richards told BBC Look North.

"His leadership abilities are fantastic and he leads from the front, but also his understanding of the game and his impact on the field."

Richards' side remain unbeaten in all competitions, progressing to the quarter-finals of the British and Irish Cup as well as leading the Championship table by 15 points.

Unsurprisingly the former Leicester and Harlequins boss is delighted with the run, but is also realistic about the prospect of maintaining a 100% throughout the campaign.

"Last weekend was nice, but I didn't think we were going to lose," he added.

"There will be games toward the end where I won't be speaking in that manner, hopefully it won't be this Friday against Moseley."