YOUNG STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF HUDSON

Micky Young has stressed the importance of James Hudson in the team. Hamstring tears kept Hudson out for two months, a run of four straight league defeats, prior to his return in the 12-6 defeat of Gloucester on Sunday.

“It makes a massive difference having James Hudson back in the Falcons team,” Young told BBC Newcastle.

“It’s the type of work-rate we want and accuracy he brings to the game.”

Young added: “I didn’t see the stats but he definitely stole a few line-out balls, it’s great to have him back, his first game back and we get a win, I don’t think is any coincidence.”

The Tyneside outfit travel to last season’s champions Leicester in the Premiership on Saturday, and visit a ground upon which the north east side have failed to win since 1997.

FALCONS COACH IMPRESSED BY EXETER

Newcastle coach Paul Moriarty says that he is impressed with Exeter this season. An opening day win at home to Gloucester preceded an unlucky defeat at Leicester and Moriarty is impressed by their adjustment to the top flight.

“They’ve got enthusiasm and a fresh approach,” Moriarty told Wales Rugby Tickets. “They’ve made the rest of the division sit up and say this team has got something about it.”

Falcons travel to Sandy Park on Saturday for the first of five encounters between the two clubs in all competitions this season. Meanwhile Moriarty was keen to address the Falcons’ return to form in last Friday’s convincing 29-17 win against London Wasps at Kingston Park.

FALCONS COACH IMPRESSED BY EXETER

Newcastle coach Paul Moriarty says that he is impressed with Exeter this season. An opening day win at home to Gloucester preceded an unlucky defeat at Leicester and Moriarty is impressed by their adjustment to the top flight.

“They’ve got enthusiasm and a fresh approach,” Moriarty told BBC Newcastle. They’ve made the rest of the division sit up and say this team has got something about it.”

Falcons travel to Sandy Park on Saturday for the first of five encounters between the two clubs in all competitions this season. Meanwhile Moriarty was keen to address the Falcons’ return to form in last Friday’s convincing 29-17 win against London Wasps at Kingston Park.

NEWCASTLE STRUGGLE

Newcastle failed to secured a win over Sale after being defeated 35-18. After an early penalty exchange Falcons flanker Brent Wilson scored from a forwards move off a five-metre scrum.

Karena Whihongi hit back for Sale before Macleod’s kick was gathered by Tom Brady to cross in the corner.

After the break Macleod added more points with the boot before Chris Leck’s sin-binning let Wilson in again.

Sale started much the brighter and had points on the board through Macleod’s boot after just 90 seconds as referee Dean Richards proved a harsh judge of any handling on the ground.

The hosts were penalised for the same offence shortly after, Falcons fly-half Jeremy Manning equalling the score.

Wales under-21 international Macleod added six more points with his boot as Newcastle began to struggle with Sale’s quick phases.

But it was the visitors who claimed the first try as Wilson went over from a move off a five-metre scrum, Manning slotting a fine touchline conversion to put Newcastle in front for the first time at 10-9.

Sale pressed with Dwayne Peel’s rapid passes picking out thundering runs by Wihongi and Andrew Sheridan. And it was debutant Wihongi who emerged with the ball from under a pile of bodies for their opening score.

NEWCASTLE SIGN DARREN FEARN

Newcastle Rugby Union have signed young forward Darren Fearn. The 21-year-old Northumbria University student joins the club on a one-year deal, having previously represented the Falcons development team.

The 6ft 3in Yorkshireman weighs in at an imposing 20 and a half stone.

Newcastle Rugby Union head coach Alan Tait said: “Darren has got loads of potential and is desperate to prove himself. It’s important we give these guys a chance.”

Fearn will combine full-time training at the Falcons with the final year of his degree in sports development with coaching.

Tait continued: “Darren is in a similar situation to where Grant Shiells and Mark Wilson were this time last year, he’s really knocking on the door. Our academy manager Richard Arnold coached him last year at Northumbria University, and he rates him very highly.

“Our front row coach Micky Ward has also had a good look at him during pre-season, and from my own point of view Darren has the right sort of attitude and character to make a real go of it.”

HOGG HOPING FOR NEWCASTLE KICK-START

As he comes to the end of the most frustrating season since he broke into the top flight, Allister Hogg, the back row, knows that over next few months he is going to face a series daunting challenges. He is backing himself not just to overcome them but use them to win back his place in the Scotland team.

The first comes tomorrow when he is a core element in the international sevens team’s attempt to claim some respectability from the wreckage of a disastrous season when they appear at their home World Series event at Murrayfield. The next comes next month in Romania when his leadership and experience will be vital to Scotland A’s attempt to retain the IRB Nations Cup.

These are just the warm-up acts, though. The big challenge will come in the summer when he ends eight years as a one-club man and moves to Newcastle Falcons, where he only knows Alan Tait, the head coach, who was once in charge of the Scotland defence.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge,” was Hogg’s view of the move. “A different bunch of boys, a different competition, a different set-up. I’m looking forward to playing at grounds I have not played at, against teams I have not played before, in competitions I have not experienced. It is all new. Learning from that experience will make me a better rugby player.”

TAIT CONCENTRATING ON RUGBY

Alan Tait has revealed there will be no new director of rugby role at Newcastle Falcons, following his appointment as head coach at Kingston Park.

Falcons parted company with director of rugby Steve Bates on Tuesday, and a restructured backroom staff will take the club into the 2010-11 season.

“I am the man in charge of the rugby side of the club,” Tait said. “I will decide which players come, which players leave and which players get selected in the team each week.”

Tait continued: “I will decide what our coaching set-up and backroom support team is.

“But rather than getting bogged down in the office side of things I will be supported by our chief executive David Bell with regards to admin, contracts and negotiations, so that I can concentrate purely on rugby.