Newcastle Falcons skipper Will Welch calls for belief

By Matt NewsumBBC Sport
Will Welch
Welch led Newcastle Falcons to promotion from the Championship as captain in 2012-13

Captain Will Welch believes Newcastle Falcons have the right structure but need to show ambition and belief to avoid another Premiership struggle.

Falcons, who won only three of 22 league games last term, survived the drop as Worcester finished six points behind them in the relegation spot.

"It's about making sure we're far more ambitious and confident than we were last year," Welch told BBC Sport.

"We've got to start looking up rather than worrying about the bottom."

He added: "Wherever we finish up - mid-table or whatever - it will be a huge positive but it's important we kick on and build on last year, to keep pointing in a positive direction."

There have already been tangible changes at Kingston Park for the forthcoming campaign, with some recruitment of players taking place before safety was assured.

Italy international Josh Furno,Alesana and Anitelea Tuilagi plus Tongan lock Uili Kolo'ofa are among the new international arrivals, while Callum Green, Ruki Tipuna, Eric Fry and Juan Pablo Socino all step up from the Championship.

"I think they've done a really good job," the 23-year-old openside added. "It's always hard when you're around the bottom of the table because you don't know if you're up or down so players are less inclined to commit.

"The signings we've made are all quality, they're either relatively young or will bring added experience.

"There's quite a few of them away on international duty so when they come back it'll add real quality."

One of the Falcons' existing players also experienced international recognition this summer, with home-grown talent Kieran Brookes coming on as a second half substitute for England in the second and third Test defeats by New Zealand.

To have a player in the senior squad is evidence England coach Stuart Lancaster is looking throughout the Premiership for talent, and offers incentive for other Falcons players such as Welch, Mark Wilson and Andy Saull.

"Especially where we want this club to go," Welch said.

"We've also got a lot of good young players at the moment who are really pushing through - Scott Wilson, Zach Kibirige, Dom Barrow; they'll want to go on and play for England.

"It'd be great for a club like this to keep hold of those players because it will only improve the side and we'll grow as a team and a club and then those will go on to play internationally I imagine."

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