Dean Richards: Newcastle Falcons talent has platform to impress in first-team

Callum Chick
Callum Chick rumbles his way through for Newcastle, one of the bright lights in the team this season.

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards says the growing number of academy talent at first-team level is proof players have chances to impress.

Falcons have handed debuts to a number of players including Callum Chick and Brett Connon across the different competitions so far this season.

Injuries to key personnel such as Sonatane Takulua and Sinoti Sinoti have given opportunities to fringe players.

"We're not afraid to drop them in if need be," Richards told BBC Newcastle.

"We've said all along we want to give guys the exposure, although sometimes it's difficult to find that opportunity."

The return of winger Vereniki Goneva from a hamstring injury has been a boost for the Falcons, notably in Friday's 22-16 win against Northampton Saints.

Fijian winger Goneva picked off a pass, racing the length of the field to score and seal the points for Richards' side.

"It's no wonder people regard him as one of the best finishers in the world," Richards said.

"The way he took the try at the end, he didn't break step when Ben Foden came across, he stepped inside him on a half tackle at the same speed and finished off he's an outstanding finisher and a really good player."

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