Sep 01, 2018
Newcastle most similar to French team - Strettle
David Strettle believes Newcastle Falcons play a similar style to a French side.
The 35-year-old spent three seasons with Clermont Auvergne before returning to Saracens in the summer ahead of the 2018/19 Gallagher Premiership campaign.
Sarries head to Kingston Park to take on Dean Richards' Newcastle in the opening round and Strettle is expecting some Pro 14 ‘X Factor’ from the North East outfit.
Talking about clubs in France, the winger said: “I feel the individuals in France can punish you; there’s so much X Factor out there.
“When a team is playing poorly, they can still stay in the game through individuals whereas the Premiership is more about teams. When you play against the opposition you respect what the team has rather than what the individuals have.
“A lot of time when you do analysis on French teams you’re looking at individual players which is interesting because that dictates a lot of how the team plays whereas as Premiership teams have a DNA where no matter what players are playing the team usually plays the same.”
He continued: “In contrast, Newcastle have some brilliant X Factor players in their team. There are players there who have a lot of similarities to what you get in France; players like Sinoti Sinoti and Vereniki Goneva who can turn the game on its hat – give them an inch and they’ll punish you.
“I think they are probably the most similar to a French team in that respect. They have these unbelievable X Factor players but I think the way to counter that is to play as a team. You’re not going to beat these guys going after them as individuals, you have to defend as a team.”