Dean Richards: Falcons' Juan Socino worthy of Argentina call

Juan Pablo Socino
Socino has played for the Argentina Jaguars 'A' side but is yet to make a full international appearance

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards believes Argentine centre Juan Pablo Socino would be capable of fitting into international rugby union.

Socino, 26, is yet to make his full Pumas bow although he has played for the Jaguars 'A' side.

He made his Premiership debut this season with Falcons after Championship spells with Nottingham and Rotherham.

"I think he's a quality player, how he hasn't played for Argentina I don't know," Richards said.

"He is probably one of the most professional players I have come across, he's outstanding."

Argentina internationals in the Premiership
Marcos Ayerza - LeicesterMariano Galarza - Gloucester
Pablo Matera - LeicesterMarcelo Bosch - Saracens
Horacio Agulla - BathGonzalo Tiesi - Newcastle

Falcons have operated Socino in the centres and at fly-half, and also called upon his kicking skills.

The defeat by London Irish on 15 September proved a tough afternoon with the boot, with just one successful conversion, but he rediscovered his range in the Northampton loss with a penalty and a conversion.

However, Richards' side were blown away by champions Saints last weekend inside the first 28 minutes - going 28-3 down.

A spirited second-half rally gave Falcons hope but they lost for a third match in succession, with the score finishing up 35-10.

"There's been a lot of soul-searching this week, but training has been good and pretty sharp," Richards added ahead of Sunday's game at Wasps.

"We've got to draw a line under this and put to bed what happened, understand where we went wrong and go out to nail it."