Fletcher looks on the bright side

Newcastle rugby director John Fletcher insists there are positives to be gained from the wasted journey to Gloucester - and Falcons intend to capitalise on Boxing Day. [more]

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Newcastle rugby director John Fletcher insists there are positives to be gained from the wasted journey to Gloucester – and Falcons intend to capitalise on Boxing Day.

Falcons made the long journey to Gloucester last Friday, but dense fog caused a postponement 25 minutes before kick-off, particularly frustrating Gloucester head coach Dean Ryan, who felt the game could have gone ahead.

Newcastle will hope for a less frustrating experience than on their pre-Christmas travels when they return to Kingston Park for a Boxing Day appointment with champions Sale Sharks, and the benefit is that their players are carrying no new injuries.

Fletcher said: "A lot of our supporters unfortunately had a wasted journey down to Gloucester on Friday with the late decision to postpone that match, but Boxing Day represents a real chance to generate a fantastic atmosphere at Kingston Park.

"The upside of Friday’s events means we go into the Boxing Day game fresh and ready for another good battle with Sale. We aim to finish 2006 on a winning note against the champions."

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Sale, who could welcome back Sebastien Bruno, Magnus Lund and Richard Wigglesworth from injuries and illness, have lost four successive away games, while Kingston Park has never proved a happy hunting ground for the Sharks, with 13 previous visits yet to produce a win.

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