A NEWCASTLE FALCONS XV will take on each of the Super6 teams in friendly matches during the course of next season.
Heriot’s Rugby will be the first team to face the English side with an away fixture on Sunday 6th October, before welcoming Falcons back to Goldenacre on Saturday 19th October, while Stirling County will visit Kingston Park on Sunday 2nd November, ahead of the domestic element of the new tier officially kicking off on 8th November.
The Southern Knights will get game time over the festive break with an away match on Saturday 28th December, Watsonians will host the English side on Saturday 11th January, Ayrshire Bulls will play down there on Saturday 1st February 2020 and Boroughmuir Bears will finish the series of fixtures off with a trip to the North East of England on Friday 3rd April, ahead of the cross-border segment of the season played against Welsh Premiership clubs kicking off later that month.
“It’s great to be able to extend our partnership with Newcastle Falcons and we’re pleased that these fixtures have been added to the calendar for the Super6 clubs,” said Sean Lineen, who is ‘Super6 On-Field Development Lead’. “It will give the newly formed squads time on the pitch and allows our teams the opportunity to play against some quality opposition where the standard of rugby will be extremely competitive.”
Newcastle Falcons Director of Rugby Dean Richards reckons the arrangement can help his club maintain standards below 1st XV level after relegation out of the English Gallagher Premiership last season.
“Our matches against the Scottish Super6 teams will allow us the chance to give meaningful game time to a number of our players in the absence of A-League rugby,” he said. “We have always enjoyed a great relationship with the Scottish clubs, and our home game against Southern Knights on 28th December in particular promises to be a great occasion which should hopefully attract a good crowd.”
Meanwhile, Southern Knights Head Coach, Rob Chrystie welcomed the opportunity for his players to test themselves against a different sort of opposition in a new environment.
“The Southern Knights fixture against Newcastle Falcons on 28th December will be our first cross border fixture,” he said. “This fixture will give our players a great opportunity to play against some real quality players and take them to an unfamiliar environment.
“We are excited to look at further developing this fixture in the future with both clubs already having a connection through our geographical position and ex-players”
Peter Murchie, Head Coach of Ayrshire Bulls, also welcomed the announcement. “I think the fixture against Newcastle is an excellent addition to our fixture list,” he said. “Traveling to the North of England and taking on what I am sure will be a very tough opponent will be a great challenge for the squad. It also further exposes our players to different teams and playing styles that can only add to our players’ development”.
Watsonians Rugby Super6 Head Coach, Fergus Pringle, added: “It’s a great opportunity for us to host Newcastle Falcons A at Myreside and it’s an event the whole club is looking forward to.
“The game on Saturday 11 January will be a good hit out for us after the Christmas and New Year break before we play the last four league games and get to the play-offs.”
NEWCASTLE FALCONS XV fixtures –
Sun 6 Oct: v Heriot’s (Kingston Park, 3pm)
Sat 19 Oct: v Heriot’s (Goldenacre, 2.30pm)
Sun 2 Nov: v Stirling County (Kingston Park, 4.30pm)
Sat 28 Dec: v Southern Knights (Kingston Park, 3pm)
Sat 11 Jan: v Watsonians Rugby (Myreside, 3pm)
Sat 1 Feb: v Ayrshire Bulls (Kingston Park, 7.30pm)
Fri 3 Apr: v Boroughmuir Bears (Kingston Park, 7.30pm)