New Newcastle tighthead Mark Tampin has delivered a reality check as the newly-relegated Falcons start planning for life in the English Championship.
Tampin’s signing was announced on Tuesday and the Ealing Trailfinders prop didn’t hang about in warning Dean Richards’ side they are in for some testing times in the second tier.
“It won’t be walk in the park – I can tell everyone that right from the off,” said Tampin after he put pen to paper on a two-year deal.
“The Championship is a tough league, especially when you’re one of the better teams. It means there’s a target on your back, guys are raising their game against you because most of them are trying to get Premiership contracts and they know that having a big game against Newcastle is a good way for them to achieve that.
“A lot of Championship teams are similar until they come up against one of the top two teams, and they raise their game massively for those occasions. It’s something the Falcons need to be aware of because we’re probably going to get it all season, and it definitely won’t be easy.
— Newcastle Falcons (@FalconsRugby) May 21, 2019
“Each year the Championship is getting better and better, it will have improved noticeably from when Newcastle were last down there and the guys need to be ready for that.
“Ealing definitely won’t make it an easy ride, I can say that from first-hand experience, and there are some other good sides out there for sure.”
Born in London, the 27-year-old began his professional rugby career in Yorkshire, coming through Leeds Carnegie’s academy and going on to make his name as a regular for Rotherham Titans.
Moving to Jersey Reds for the 2016-17 season where he played alongside current Falcons players Gary Graham and Sam Lockwood, Tampin has spent the last two seasons at Ealing, who this season won the Championship Cup as well as finishing second in the Championship title race.
— Ealing Trailfinders (@ealingtfrugby) May 21, 2019
“I’ve been trying to get to a club like this for a while now and I just want to make it count,” said Tampin, who will arrive in July for the start of pre-season.
“Newcastle Falcons are a big club, everyone knows the name and they have a well-established reputation. People know the Falcons had a massive year last year, and even though a bit of luck has been against them this time round they’ve still got everything in place to bounce back.
“I know quite a few of the lads already because of my time at Rotherham when a number of the Falcons boys came down on loan. I also know Sam Lockwood and Gary Graham pretty well from our time at Jersey, and Newcastle’s forwards coach Micky Ward used to come down to Rotherham and coach the front-row when I was there.
Our pleasure. Hopefully see you in the not too distant… https://t.co/DLmrnOF8I8
— Newcastle Falcons (@FalconsRugby) May 18, 2019
“I suppose that means I’ve got the inside track and I have a decent idea of what to expect, but it’s a great move and I can’t wait to get up there.”
Falcons director of rugby Richards welcomed Tampin’s arrival, saying: “Mark has been on our radar for some time now, and we look forward to working with him.
“He’s a very street-wise prop who has forged an outstanding reputation through his hard work in the Championship, and he’s a great addition to a very competitive front-row pool for next season.”
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