Newcastle Falcons chief has predicted that performances will improve very shortly. Falcons host fellow strugglers Leeds at Kingston Park on Monday and Thompson says they can take heart from their opponents’ experiences last season.

“Leeds were dead and buried this time last year, and look who was relegated – Worcester,” he told BBC Newcastle.

“We’ve missed established players who are slowly getting back. I’m not happy but we’ll improve. It’s a long season.”

He added: “We’re quite a young side and we’re learning.