GOLD PLAYING THE LONG GAME

New Newcastle Falcons head coach, Gary Gold has insisted that he is in the long game with the Falcons and that relegation this season would not spell the end of the Newcastle club.

Neighbours West Hartlepool are one of many great Northern sides to have fallen from Rugby’s top table to lower league obscurity and Gold is determined that the Falcons will not follow the likes of West, Liverpool St Helens and Orrell.

The South African took charge last week and is targeting overcoming the nine point deficit to second bottom Wasps in the remaining nine league games. With Falcons now with the League as their sole real focus this season it means that unlike their London rivals they can put everything into their battle with relegation.

Gold, whilst still targeting avoiding relegation, appreciates it is a real threat to his new side and has looked to the likes of Northampton and Harlequins for inspiration if they do drop out of the top division this season. Quins and Saints both suffered relegation in recent years and have bounced back to now sit at the right end of the Premiership table, with Saints having made the Heineken Cup Final last year.

Gold and Falcons owner Semore Kurdi are targeting aspiring to this level themselves in a few years time and the inspiration they can draw from these two sides can give them hope of achieving these aspirations even if they are relegated.

The demise of Northern Rugby in recent years would mean that if the Falcons are relegated there would only be one side, Sale Sharks, north of Leicester in the top flight. With Sale’s revival this season and the ambitions of Newcastle there could be a boost in Northern Rugby’s fortunes. If Leeds can return to the Premiership and Newcastle can survive there is every possibility the North could retain its spot at the top of Rugby Union.

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