Dean Richards: Newcastle Falcons boosted by injury returnees
Newcastle boss Dean Richards says their injury returnees will provide more competition for places.
Falcons, who started the season without Marcus Watson, Sinoti Sinoti and Tom Catterick, have lost four and drawn one of their first five Premiership games.
"Ten weeks ago we were giving games away as we had so many injuries," Richards told BBC Newcastle.
"Now we are in the enviable position where we only have a couple of injuries and boys are fighting for their spot."
Newcastle currently lie 11th in the table, but secured their first points of the season in a 15-15 draw against Sale Sharks last weekend.
"We've got a lot of boys back from injury and a far more settled team now than ever before with a lot of competition for places," said Richards.
"We are past the stage of wondering what side we're going to have from one week to the next."
Following the delayed start to the Premiership season because of the World Cup, centre Adam Powell says the situation has not worked well for the team.
"Even though it was an extended pre-season, with the numbers we had away and the injuries we incurred, it was quite disjointed for us," said Powell.
"Unlike some teams, for us, the guys who are coming back from the World Cup were new guys, so they had to learn the systems we play and get their families used to the area."