Newcastle Falcons' Kiwi contingent have one eye on Twickenham

It has been safety in numbers for Newcastle Falcons' Kiwi players ahead of today's England v New Zealand game

Newcastle Falcons' Ryan Shortland
Newcastle Falcons' Ryan Shortland

Newcastle Falcons’ Kiwi contingent are pinning their hopes on the All Blacks beating England today.

Winger Ryan Shortland, who described last year’s loss to England as a “debacle” said: “We are looking for serious revenge after last time.

“New Zealand are playing unreal rugby at the moment, and the game against France last weekend was the next level.

“It is one of those games to just sit back and enjoy, although the kick-off time means we will be out doing our warm-up in Gloucester rather than being plonked in front of the TV!”

Explaining the world champions’ formula, he added: “They do the basics so welland are incredibly well-drilled.

“They know what each other is going to be doing at any given time. They know the ins and outs of each other’s game and where they want to be on the field.

“At every breakdown they have numbers.”

Falcons head coach Peter Russell said: “The All Blacks seem very grounded going into the game.

“You compare that with the stuff I have read from the England players, and it is all about how they are going to beat us, make Twickenham a fortress and all this kind of stuff.

“Just concentrate on the game, boys!

“The All Blacks are still the team to beat in world rugby, and I heard someone during the week sum it up quite nicely. They said if you get three or four wins against them you can say you’re a good side, but if it is only a random one-off game then it is nowhere near the same thing.”

Flanker Richard Mayhew, a fellow Kiwi, added: “The All Blacks are looking pretty strong and they should have enough, but you just never know.

“Hopefully, we can do a job on England, but they have had a couple of good results themselves against Australia and Argentina.

“I am gutted I won’t be able to watch it, because it should be a really good game. Last year we suffered an upset which was terrible, and hopefully the boys can get some revenge.

“Before last season’s game I would have said there was no doubt about it, but a little bit has started to creep in as a result of that defeat.”

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