Newcastle Falcons players and staff are having a training session with a difference this Friday morning in England – trying to clear the club’s Kingston Park pitch of snow to ensure it is playable for Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership match versus Gloucester. 

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The 2020/21 Premiership campaign has already been badly hit by the pandemic. Five matches, including this weekend’s East Midlands derby between Northampton and Leicester, have been cancelled since Christmas. 

However, bad weather has become the latest headache for Premiership officials to grapple with. Heavy snow has fallen in the north-east of England, forcing Dean Richards’ squad into action to try and keep their pitch playable as they look to build on their fine start to the season. 

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Goodbye 2020!

Newly promoted from the Championship, Newcastle are in third place heading into the sixth round of fixtures following wins over Bath, Sale and Wasps which were followed by the Boxing Day cancellation versus Leicester and the New Year’s Day defeat at Bristol.   

The snowfall has kept the Newcastle social media team busy, the club’s Twitter account tweeting: “Snowball fight to decide the winner, Gloucester?” Gloucester were quick to ask, “Shall we bring some shovels?”

Temperatures in the area are due to fall to -5°C overnight ahead of the 2pm Saturday kick-off. Despite the current conditions, both teams are expected to be named after midday on Friday. A Met Office weather warning for snow and ice is currently in place and will be until midnight on Friday. It warns of travel delays and potential injury due to the weather. People are being urged to travel only if essential.

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Saturday’s match was originally due to start at 3pm but it was brought forward an hour in midweek so that it could be broadcast live on TV by BT Sport following the cancellation of Northampton vs Leicester.

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