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Why are the Newcastle Falcons struggling to fly?

2T818EE Newcastle Falcons’ James Elliott during the Gallagher Premiership match at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford. Picture date: Friday November 17, 2023.

From 14 games this season, the Newcastle Falcons have won just four, all of which came in the Premiership Rugby Cup.

The North East’s only professional rugby union club has been winless since their Premiership opener against Bath on October 14.

It starts to beg the question: where have the Falcons gone wrong, and how can they find a way out of this rut?

Their last three fixtures of the year contain a trip to Johannesburg to face the Emirates Lions in the Challenge Cup, before hosting Bristol and travelling to Saracens in the Premiership.

The Lions sit ninth in the United Rugby Championship standings but have been on hot form winning four out of their last five matches, including their first Challenge Cup contest over Perpignan.

Bristol sit just two places above them in the Premiership, however, Saracens have proven themselves to be title contenders this year.

Despite picking up four losing bonus points, the Falcons have had a huge defensive issue this year, with a current -148 points difference after eight Premiership fixtures, caused by huge deficits, such as a 47-3 loss to the Leicester Tigers and a 50-12 thumping to Saracens.

Whilst scoring has not been a massive issue for the Falcons, scoring tries in all but one fixture, the loss of Mateo Carreras to Bayonne at the end of the season will hinder a backline full of flair and creativity.

However, there is a key concern with star power amongst the forward pack, with their most experienced international forward, Eduardo Bello, still yet to make an appearance for the club, and no signs of any other star power emerging from the Falcons’ fowards. 

In the current cutthroat climate that is Premiership Rugby, the lack of any success for the Falcons may mean more than just a league position, with their existence also on the line too.